Brig. Gen. Rebecca S. Halstead 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.
Her early positions in the Ordnance Corps 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.
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.
In 2006 General 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 Aberdeen Proving Ground and the relocation of the Ordnance Center to Fort Lee, Virginia. General Halstead retired from the military in June 2008.
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.
After her retirement, General Halstead was elected President of the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps Association. She founded her own consulting firm, Steadfast Leadership. In addition, she is a spokesperson for the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress.