Rebecca S. Halstead
Halstead as commander of the Army Ordnance Center
Born1959 (age 64–65)
Willseyville, Candor, New York
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1981–2008
RankBrigadier General
Commands heldChief of Ordnance
United States Army Ordnance Center and Schools
3rd Corps Support Command
10th Division Support Command
325th Forward Support Battalion
Battles/warsWar in Afghanistan
Iraq War
AwardsArmy Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit (2)
Bronze Star Medal
Other workPresident, United States Army Ordnance Corps Association
Executive Director for Leader Development, Praevius Group
Founder, Steadfast Leadership

Rebecca Stevens "Becky" Halstead (born 1959) is a former United States Army officer and the first female graduate of West Point to become a general officer. She was the 34th Chief of Ordnance and Commandant of the United States Army Ordnance Center and Schools at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

Early life

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

Early career

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.[10]

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.[11][12][13][14][15]

Later career

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 the Iraq War. In January 2005, she was promoted to brigadier general, the first female graduate of West Point to attain general officer rank.[16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24]

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 the Ordnance Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground and relocating it to Fort Lee, Virginia. She retired from the military in June 2008.[25][26][27]


Halstead is a graduate of the Army's Ordnance Officer Basic and Officer Advanced Courses. 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.[28][29]

Awards and qualification badges

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.[30][31][32][33]

Post-military career

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.[34][35][36][37][38]

Other honors

In 2007 Halstead received the National Women’s History Project award for "Generations of Women Moving History Forward."[39] In 2011 she became the first woman to have a room named after her at West Point's Thayer Hotel.[40] She is also a 2011 inductee of the Ordnance Corps Hall of Fame.[41] In 2013 she was inducted into the New Jersey Women's Hall of Fame.[42] In 2021, Halstead was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.[43]

See also


  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". Archived from the original on 2006-08-10. Retrieved 2009-12-07.
  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), Volume 61, Number 35, September 3, 2004
  7. ^ Retired Brigadier General Rebecca Halstead to Address Cadets, Community on Leadership Archived 2012-08-05 at, 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. ^ Authority Transferred To 80th Ordnance Battalion
  11. ^ Official Army Biography as of October 2005 for Rebecca S. Halstead, U.S. Military Academy Public Affairs Office
  12. ^ Rebecca S. Halstead web page Archived 2007-12-28 at the Wayback Machine, National Women's History Project web site, 2007 Honorees
  13. ^ Focus, the Newsletter of Academy Women, September, 2006
  14. ^ Newspaper article, Female West Point Graduate Gets Star, Takes Command, Fayetteville Observer, September 16, 2004
  15. ^ Newspaper article, Female West Point grad promoted to general, by John Machacek, Gannett News Service, September 23, 2004
  16. ^ Newspaper article, Boles looks back on his seven months of directing logistical support in Iraq, by Kevin Dougherty, Stars and Stripes, September 3, 2004
  17. ^ Magazine article, Breaking the Long Gray Line, by Linda Robinson, US News and World Report, September 5, 2004
  18. ^ 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
  19. ^ Newspaper article, West Point Celebrates 30 Years With Women, by Greg Bruno, Hudson Valley Times Herald-record, April 28, 2006
  20. ^ Newspaper article, Female General Looks Back On Her Climb, by Rebecca Santana, Associated Press, published in Washington Post, August 13, 2006
  21. ^ Newspaper article, Woman is Academy's First Female General, Associated Press, published in Lewiston Sun Journal, August 14, 2006
  22. ^ Brigadier general in Germany is first female West Point grad to reach rank, by Marni McEntee, Stars and Stripes, September 1, 2004
  23. ^ Newspaper article, West Point Woman Grad Named General, by John Machacek, The Poughkeepsie Journal, September 26, 2004
  24. ^ Women and Social Change in America: A Survey of a Century of Progress, by Gerhard Falk, 2009, page 75
  25. ^ Newsletter column, From the Chief, by Rebecca S. Halstead, US Army Ordnance Center and Schools newsletter, page 1, January, 2008
  26. ^ Newsletter[permanent dead link], U.S. Army Ordnance Center and School, Volume 2, Issue 3, Spring, 2008
  27. ^ Newspaper article, Collyar becomes 35th Chief of Ordnance Archived 2011-07-22 at the Wayback Machine, by Roger Steel, APG News, the newspaper of Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, July 3, 2008
  28. ^ 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
  29. ^ Press release, Brigadier General Rebecca S. Halstead Shares Mission to Continue Serving on Veterans Day, Business Wire, November 06, 2009
  30. ^ Newspaper article, Former Tier woman to join Army's elite, by Justin Walden, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, August 27, 2004
  31. ^ 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
  32. ^ Military Leadership Diversity Commission biography Archived 2010-04-27 at the Wayback Machine, Rebecca S. Halstead, undated, accessed January 26, 2011
  33. ^ Speaker's Biography, Rebecca S. Halstead Archived 2011-03-07 at the Wayback Machine, Girls Gals Gurus (GGG) Speakers Bureau web site, accessed January 25, 2011
  34. ^ The Flagpole Archived 2011-07-25 at the Wayback Machine, Newsletter of the U.S. Army Women's Foundation, Volume LX, Number 1, Spring 2009
  35. ^ U.S. Army Ordnance Corps Association web site, accessed January 26, 2011
  36. ^ Magazine article, Memorial Day Media Tour for Foundation Spokesperson General Halstead, Dynamic Chiropractic magazine, Volume 29, Number 2, May 27, 2010
  37. ^ Blog article, Becky Halstead: Learning to Say No, by Ben Ryan, Fibro Blog, published by National Fibromyalgia Association, December 14, 2010
  38. ^ Home page, web site, accessed January 22, 2011
  39. ^ List of Honorees Archived 2012-07-30 at the Wayback Machine, National Women's History Project, accessed May 19, 2012
  40. ^ Room dedication program, Thayer Hotel, accessed May 19, 2012
  41. ^ "Inductee: Brigadier General Rebecca S. Halstead". Ordnance Corps Hall of Fame. Ft. Lee, Virginia: US Army Ordnance Corps Association. 2011.
  42. ^ New Jersey Women’s Hall of Fame, Program of Events, 3rd Induction Ceremony Archived 2013-11-16 at the Wayback Machine, March 21, 2013, pages 12–13
  43. ^ "Michelle Obama, Mia Hamm chosen for Women's Hall of Fame". March 8, 2021.
Military offices Preceded byVincent E. Boles Chief of Ordnance of the United States Army 2006–2008 Succeeded byLynn A. Collyar