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Old 09-11-2004, 03:45 PM
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Talking West Point?s first female general commands COSCOM

West Point?s first female general commands COSCOM

The first female West Point graduate to be promoted to general officer assumed command of V Corps? 3rd Corps Support Command in a ceremony Sept. 2 at Wiesbaden Army Airfield, Germany.

Brig. Gen. Rebecca S. Halstead Halstead, whose previous assignment was as deputy commander for U.S. Army Europe?s 21st Theater Support Command in Kaiserslautern, Germany, pinned on her first star Aug. 31.

During the ceremony, Halstead accepted the COSCOM flag from V Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez. She replaced outgoing COSCOM Commander Brig. Gen. Vincent E. Boles.

In his remarks at the event, Sanchez lauded the leadership and skill he says Halstead brings to the COSCOM and V Corps.

?The good news about any change of command is the arrival of an equally impressive leader and warrior, who is eager to maintain the standard as the organization takes on the challenges that lie ahead,? said Sanchez.

Halstead is a graduate of the West Point Class of 1981, the second academy class to include women. She was one of 104 women to enter West Point in 1977. Four years later 63 women, the same number that graduated the first class in 1980, graduated in her class.

Halstead is one of six female members of the Class of 1981 still on active duty. She has served as a platoon leader, operations officer and an executive officer with the 69th Ordnance Company, 559th Artillery Group in Vicenza, Italy.

She later commanded Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 63rd Ordnance Company, and was the materiel officer for the 80th Ordnance Battalion, Fort Lewis, Wash.

Other assignments include being the support operations and battalion executive officer with the 526th Forward Support Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.; commander of the 325th Forward Support Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; commander of the 10th Mountain Division Support Command at Fort Drum, N.Y., and she was the executive assistant to the combatant commander, United States Southern Command, Miami, Fla., before becoming deputy for the 21st Theater Support Command.

Her military education includes completion of the Ordnance Officers? Basic and Advanced Courses at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., and Redstone Arsenal, Ala. She also attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.

She holds a master?s degree in military art and science from the Command and General Staff College and a master?s degree in national resource strategy from the National Defense University at Fort McNair.

?This is an awesome responsibility, honor and privilege to lead and serve with 3rd COSCOM,? said Halstead.

Boles passed on the flag of 3rd COSCOM a year after becoming its commander on a parade field at Logistic Support Area Anaconda in Balad, Iraq, while the unit was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

?I charged (Boles) with one task,? said Sanchez. ?That was never to cause a maneuver commander to look back because of a logistical issue, and you lived up to your motto, ?Sustaining the Line,? and you did it superbly.?

Before the ceremony, Sanchez awarded the Meritorious Service Medal to Boles for his contributions to the COSCOM. He then presented Boles? wife Cheryl with a Commander?s Award for Public Service for her contributions to the COSCOM, and a Heart of Victory Award for her volunteer and quality of life projects.

Boles next assignment will be as commander of the U.S. Army Ordnance Center and School at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.

Halstead?s complete biography is available on the 3rd COSCOM Web site.

Note: By Staff Sgt. Manuel Torres-Cortes WIESBADEN, Germany (Army News Service) (Editor?s note: Staff Sgt. Manuel Torres-Cortes serves with V Corps Public Affairs Office.)

Brig. Gen. Rebecca S. Halstead (center) accepts the colors of the 3rd Corps Support Command from V Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez during a change of command ceremony at Wiesbaden Army Airfield, Germany Sept. 2.
Staff Sgt. Manuel Torres-Cortes
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