For this article in a series that is recognizing Women of Tioga County, we are focused on Rebecca Stevens Halstead of Candor, N.Y.
A 1977 graduate of Candor Central School, Becky was the first woman in Tioga County to attend and graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and was in the second class of women since the Academy was established) in 1802.
Becky graduated in 1981, an historic milestone as the first female graduate of West Point to be promoted to General Officer. She earned her M.S. in National Resource Strategy (Advanced Manufacturing) from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, and an M.S. in Advanced Military Studies (Visionary Leadership) from the Army Command and General Staff College.
Becky was the senior Commanding General for logistics in Iraq, and was the first female in U.S. history to command in combat at the strategic level. In this capacity she was responsible for leading over 200 multi‐disciplined units (20,000 military and 5,000 civilians) located across 55 different bases, providing supply, maintenance, transportation, and distribution support to over 250,000 personnel serving in Iraq.
Becky honorably served with the U.S. Army and retired as a General Officer in 2008. The culmination of her career came in 2006 when she became the first female Chief of Ordnance and Commanding General of the Army’s Ordnance Center and Schools (equivalent to President of a University), responsible for the leader development and institutional training for the second largest branch in the army with over 100,000 members of the Ordnance Corps.
During active service, she served in Europe as the Deputy Commanding General (equivalent to a Chief Operating Officer) for the 21st Theater Support Command and has experience leading a multi-national team in wholesale level logistics operations. Prior to Europe, she served as the Chief Advisor to the Combatant Commander (Four Star General) for Southern Command, whose responsibility encompassed military training and operations for South America. She was also responsible for coordinating directly with high‐level organizations such as Office of the Secretary of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Department of State, U.S. Congress, U.S. Ambassadors, and equivalent foreign military and civilian organizations.
Becky, a retired Brigadier General, United States Army, founded her own leader consultancy company, STEADFAST Leadership, LLC, following 27 years of service in the U.S. military and her role as Executive Director for a leadership consultancy company. Becky specializes in inspirational speaking (nationally and internationally; corporate and academic), developing leader training programs, leader coaching, consulting and advising. She authored her first book on leadership, 24/7: The First Person You Must Lead Is YOU.
Becky is a member on the Board of Advisors for Principal Solar, and a faculty member with the Thayer Leader Development Group at West Point, a premier executive leader development institute.
Becky is a recipient of the 2007 National Women’s History Project award for “Generations of Women Moving History Forward.” From 2009 to 2010, Becky served as a Commissioner on the President’s Military Leadership Diversity Commission. In 2011, her leadership model was a focus of a Harvard Business School Case Study.