The use of adaptive linear techniques to solve signal processing problems is needed particularly when the interference environment external to the signal processor (such as for a radar or communication system) is not known a priori. Due to this lack of knowledge of an external environment, adaptive techniques require a certain amount of data to cancel the external interference. The number of statistically independent samples per input sensor required so that the performance of the adaptive processor is close (nominally within 3 dB) to the optimum is called the convergence measure of effectiveness (MOE) of the processor. The minimization of the convergence MOE is important since in many environments the external interference changes rapidly with time. Although there are heuristic techniques in the literature that provide fast convergence for particular problems, there is currently not a general solution for arbitrary interference that is derived via classical theory. A maximum likelihood (ML) solution (under the assumption that the input interference is Gaussian) is derived here for a structured covariance matrix that has the form of the identity matrix plus an unknown positive semi-definite Hermitian (PSDH) matrix. This covariance matrix form is often valid in realistic interference scenarios for radar and communication systems. Using this ML estimate, simulation results are given that show that the convergence is much faster than the often-used sample matrix inversion method. In addition, the ML solution for a structured covariance matrix that has the aforementioned form where the scale factor on the identity matrix is arbitrarily lower-bounded, is derived. Finally, an efficient implementation is presented.