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Rebecca S. Halstead
Halstead as commander of the Army Ordnance Center
Born 1959
Place of birth Willseyville, New York
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1981–2008
Rank US-O7 insignia.svg Brigadier General
Commands held 325th Forward Support Battalion
10th Division Support Command (DISCOM)
3rd Corps Support Command (COSCOM)
U.S. Army Ordnance Center and Schools
Battles/wars Operation Enduring Freedom
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Awards Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star
Meritorious Service Medal
Army Commendation Medal
Army Achievement Medal
Other work President, U.S. Army Ordnance Corps Association
Executive Director for Leader Development, Praevius Group
Founder, Steadfast Leadership

Rebecca Stevens "Becky" Halstead (born 1959) is a retired U.S. Army Brigadier General. She was the first female graduate of West Point to become a general officer. Her final assignment was Chief of Ordnance and commander of the U.S. Army Ordnance Center and Schools at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Halstead was born in Willseyville, New York in 1959, and is a 1977 graduate of Candor, New York's Candor High School.[1][2][3][4][5] She graduated from the United States Military Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1981 and was a member of the second academy class that included women.[6][7][8][9]

Early career[edit | edit source]

Lieutenant Colonel Halstead, commander, 325th Forward Support Battalion, 1997

When she was assigned to the Ordnance Corps, her early positions included: platoon leader, operations officer and executive officer with the 69th Ordnance Company, 559th Artillery Group in Vicenza, Italy; commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 80th Ordnance Battalion, Fort Lewis, Washington; commander, 63rd Ordnance company, 80th Ordnance Battalion, Fort Lewis, Washington; and Materiel Officer, 80th Ordnance Battalion, Fort Lewis, Washington.

Her later assignments included: assignment officer, Ordnance Branch, Total Army Personnel Command, Alexandria, Virginia; aide-de-camp to the commander, Combined Arms Support Command and Fort Lee, Fort Lee, Virginia; support operations officer and battalion executive officer, 526th Forward Support Battalion, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Kentucky; logistics staff officer, and assistant executive officer to the U.S. Army's Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics; commander, 325th Forward Support Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; commander, 10th Mountain Division Support Command (DISCOM), Fort Drum, New York, including duty as logistics staff officer (C-4) for Coalition Task Force Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom; and executive officer to the combatant commander, United States Southern Command, Miami, Florida.[10][11][12][13][14]

Later career[edit | edit source]

Colonel Halstead as deputy commander of 21st Theater Support Command, 2003

Brigadier General Halstead accepts 3rd COSCOM colors during change of command ceremony, 2004

In September 2003 Halstead was assigned as Deputy Commander of the 21st Theater Support Command in Germany. In September 2004 she was assigned as commander, 3rd Corps Support Command (COSCOM), including deployment to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom. In January 2005, she was promoted to Brigadier General, the first female graduate of West Point to attain general officer rank.[15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23]

In 2006 Halstead was assigned as the Army's Chief of Ordnance and commander, U.S. Army Ordnance Center and Schools at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. During her tenure, she took part in the planning for the Army's effort to streamline its Ordnance, Transportation and Supply career fields by creating a single Combined Logistics branch. As part of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) initiative, this streamlining included the closing of Abderdeen Proving Ground and the relocation of the Ordnance Center to Fort Lee, Virginia. She retired from the military in June 2008.[24][25][26]

Education[edit | edit source]

Halstead is a graduate of the Army's Ordnance Officer Basic Course and Ordnance Officer Advanced Course. She obtained a Master of Military Art and Science degree from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1993, and in 2000 she received a Master of Science degree in national resource strategy from the National War College, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.[27][28]

Awards and qualification badges[edit | edit source]

Halstead's military decorations include: the Distinguished Service Medal; the Defense Superior Service Medal; two awards of the Legion of Merit; the Bronze Star Medal; five awards of the Meritorious Service Medal; two awards of the Army Commendation Medal; and the Army Achievement Medal. She also earned the Air Assault Badge and the Army Staff Identification Badge.[29][30][31][32]

Post-military career[edit | edit source]

After her retirement Halstead was elected President of the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps Association, and joined the Praevius Group, a Virginia-based consulting firm, as Executive Director for Leader Development. She later founded her own consulting firm, Steadfast Leadership. In addition, she is a spokesperson for the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress.[33][34][35][36][37]

Other honors[edit | edit source]

In 2007 Halstead received the National Women’s History Project award for "Generations of Women Moving History Forward."[38] In 2011 she became the first woman to have a room named after her at West Point’s Thayer Hotel.[39] In 2013 she was inducted into the New Jersey Women's Hall of Fame.[40]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Visionary Leadership, by Rebecca S. Halstead, Master's Degree Thesis, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, 1993
  2. Profile, Rebecca S. Halstead, Porcelain on Steel: The Women of West Point's Long Gray Line, undated, accessed January 25, 2011
  3. Candor High School Alumni Newsletter, 2005
  4. Newspaper article, Candor Grad Promoted to Brigadier General, by Justin Walden, Binghamton, Press & Sun-Bulletin, August 31, 2004
  5. Newspaper article, Candor Native Headed to Afghanistan: Soldier thanks pupils for support, by George Basler, Binghamton, Press & Sun-Bulletin, March 9, 2002
  6. Halstead Becomes First Female Grad BG, by Eric S. Bartler, features editor, the Pointer View (weekly newspaper for West Point graduates), Vol. 61, No. 35, September 3, 2004
  7. Retired Brigadier General Rebecca Halstead to Address Cadets, Community on Leadership, by Matt Kelly, University of Virginia News Site, February 5, 2009
  8. Newspaper article, Tall Shoes to Fill, by David Maurer, Charlottesville Daily Progress, February 15, 2009
  9. Magazine article, Another Voice to Promote the Profession: Rebecca Halstead, Retired U.S. Army General Officer, Joins the Foundation, Dynamic Chiropractic magazine, Volume 27, Issue 11, May 20, 2009
  10. Official Army Biography as of October 2005 for Rebecca S. Halstead, U.S. Military Academy Public Affairs Office
  11. Rebecca S. Halstead web page, National Women's History Project web site, 2007 Honorees
  12. Focus, the Newsletter of Academy Women, September, 2006
  13. Newspaper article, Female West Point Graduate Gets Star, Takes Command, Fayetteville Observer, September 16, 2004
  14. Newspaper article, Female West Point grad promoted to general, by John Machacek, Gannett News Service, September 23, 2004
  15. Newspaper article, Boles looks back on his seven months of directing logistical support in Iraq, by Kevin Dougherty, Stars and Stripes, September 3, 2004
  16. Magazine article, Breaking the Long Gray Line, by Linda Robinson, US News and World Report, September 5, 2004
  17. News release, General Officer Assignments, U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs), No. 337-06, April 20, 2006
  18. Newspaper article, West Point Celebrates 30 Years With Women, by Greg Bruno, Hudson Valley Times Herald-record, April 28, 2006
  19. Newspaper article, Female General Looks Back On Her Climb, by Rebecca Santana, Associated Press, published in Washington Post, August 13, 2006
  20. Newspaper article, Woman is Academy's First Female General, Associated Press, published in Lewiston Sun Journal, August 14, 2006
  21. Brigadier general in Germany is first female West Point grad to reach rank, by Marni McEntee, Stars and Stripes, September 1, 2004
  22. Newspaper article, West Point Woman Grad Named General, by John Machacek, The Poughkeepsie Journal, September 26, 2004
  23. Women and Social Change in America: A Survey of a Century of Progress, by Gerhard Falk, 2009, page 75
  24. Newsletter column, From the Chief, by Rebecca S. Halstead, US Army Ordnance Center and Schools newsletter, page 1, January, 2008
  25. Newsletter, U.S. Army Ordnance Center and School, Volume 2, Issue 3, Spring, 2008
  26. Newspaper article, Collyar becomes 35th Chief of Ordnance, by Roger Steel, APG News, the newspaper of Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, July 3, 2008
  27. Press release, U.S. Army Brigadier General Becky Halstead (Retired), Veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, Speaks Out for Chiropractic Care, The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, April 30, 2009
  28. Press release, Brigadier General Rebecca S. Halstead Shares Mission to Continue Serving on Veterans Day, Business Wire, November 06, 2009
  29. Newspaper article, Former Tier woman to join Army's elite, by Justin Walden, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, August 27, 2004
  30. Speaking Out for Chiropractic: Interview with Brigadier General Becky Halstead (Ret.), by Carl S. Cleveland III, DC, Health Insights Today, Cleveland Chiropractic College, November/December 2010, Volume 3, Issue 6
  31. Military Leadership Diversity Commission biography, Rebecca S. Halstead, undated, accessed January 26, 2011
  32. Speaker's Biography, Rebecca S. Halstead, Girls Gals Gurus (GGG) Speakers Bureau web site, accessed January 25, 2011
  33. The Flagpole, Newsletter of the U.S. Army Women's Foundation, Volume LX, Number 1, Spring 2009
  34. U.S. Army Ordnance Corps Association web site, accessed January 26, 2011
  35. Magazine article, Memorial Day Media Tour for Foundation Spokesperson General Halstead, Dynamic Chiropractic magazine, Volume 29, Number 2, May 27, 2010
  36. Blog article, Becky Halstead: Learning to Say No, by Ben Ryan, Fibro Blog, published by National Fibromyalgia Association, December 14, 2010
  37. Home page, BeckyHalstead.com web site, accessed January 22, 2011
  38. List of Honorees, National Women's History Project, accessed May 19, 2012
  39. Room dedication program, Thayer Hotel, accessed May 19, 2012
  40. New Jersey Women’s Hall of Fame, Program of Events, 3rd Induction Ceremony, March 21, 2013, pages 12-13

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