Definitive Solar Institute

A community for solar development professionals.

Solar Energy in the Military

Thursday, July 19, 2012 9:00am - 9:45am EDT  
Host: Definitive Solar Institute
By: Brig Gen (ret) Becky Halstead, CEO / Founder, STEADFAST Leadership and COL(Ret) R. David McNeil, President, Hannah Solar Government Services

The Pew Charitable Trusts reports that Department of Defense (DoD) clean energy investments increased 300 percent between 2006 and 2009, from $400 million to $1.2 billion. Projections for 2030 are set to eclipse $10 billion annually, with an overall target of obtaining 25 percent of the DoD's energy from renewable sources by 2025.

The presenters of this webinar, both retired U.S. military officers now active in solar energy, are uniquely qualified to provide insights into the DOD's strategic vision for solar energy and its tactical implementation of that vision.


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Brig Gen (ret) Becky Halstead
Brig Gen (ret) Becky Halstead

CEO / Founder, STEADFAST Leadership

Becky Halstead, 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 has over 15 years of executive level leadership experience, developing and training high-performing, complex and diverse teams capable of strategic planning and execution. She has a proven record of leading change, building successful teams in demanding environments (Afghanistan and Iraq, Germany, South America), and creating innovative solutions, systems and programs to complex problems. She is an experienced leader and logistician, a highly effective communicator, and a strategic planner with exceptional organizational skills.

Becky is a 1981 graduate of the United States Military Academy and achieved an historic milestone as the first female graduate of West Point to be promoted to General Officer. She 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 (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 earned a B.S. in Engineering from West Point, an 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.

She is a member on the Board of Advisors for multiple companies: Principal Solar, the Thayer Leader Development Group, and Prevail Health Solutions; and two not for-profits: Grace After Fire and Vet R.E.S.T. Becky is an active spokesperson for the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress with specific focus on military health care. She is also a member of the Gordian Institute; a team of accomplished thought leaders and problem solvers.

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.

COL(Ret) R. David  McNeil
COL(Ret) R. David McNeil

President, Hannah Solar Government Services

Colonel (Retired) Dave McNeil is the founder and President of Hannah Solar Government Services LLC, a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB). Dave oversees all marketing, sales, installations, and operations with government agencies as well as commercial agencies operating on government installations.

He is a retired US Army Colonel with 33+ years' experience in management. His management experience includes logistics, operations, training, and Base Operations Management. Dave was the Installation Commander of FT Dix, New Jersey supervising over 8,000 personnel and managing a $230M annual budget. He supervised program managers of facilities construction, maintenance and master planning in addition to the program managers for police, fire, environmental, information technology, personnel, logistics, training, resource management and strategic planning. While at FT Dix Dave was instrumental in leading the Army in renewable energy planning and developing Photovoltaic (PV) projects on the base. Following his command at FT Dix Dave had oversight responsibility for six Army Installations simultaneously.

Dave has extensive experience in facilities master planning and construction management through his 30 years of military service. He received his BS degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL and BS degree in Computer Information Systems from Excelsior College, Albany, NY. Dave holds a MS degree in Management from Troy State University, Troy AL and a MA degree in National Strategy and Strategic Planning from the Naval War College, Newport, RI.

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