Chief Halstead retired with over two decades of Special Operations experience. He spent years in the 2nd Ranger Battalion as a Forward Observer, working and living with the line company. He graduated from Ranger School class 11-85 as the junior man in the class as a PV2. As a senior FO, he helped conceive, write, develop, and implement the Combat Observation Laser Team concept (COLT). Chief Halstead attended too many schools to list, but essential to the early portion of his career was; HALO, Special Forces Sniper School, Enlisted Air Control in AZ, Naval gunfire Spotter Course (both coast) combined with his Army 13F training. Chief Halstead became the first ever of what would later become called a JTAC.
Battles / Wars
After almost six years in the Ranger Battalion, Chief Halstead volunteered for and graduated from the first SFAS class and went on to the SFQC. After graduating from SFQC and Language school, his first SF assignment was in Okinawa, Japan. While in Okinawa, he graduated from SFARTEC, then served on and eventually became the acting Team Sergeant of an ODA in the Combatant Commanders CIF (now called CRF). After years on the CQB team, he was hand selected to join the Regional Survey Team, the long-hair team, for his last year in Oki.
After four years in Okinawa, Chief Halstead was reassigned to the 3rd SFG(A). En route, he graduated from the Warrant Officer Candidate School, Warrant Officer Basic Course, and SERE school. Immediately assigned as the Detachment Commander of the HALO team, Chief Halstead graduated MFFJM. He spent the next six years conducting classic FID throughout Africa. Working in the most remote and austere locations worldwide, Chief Halstead distinguished himself, receiving multiple written accolades from US Ambassadors throughout the region. Once again, drawing on his experience and knowledge, he helped write, develop, and implement (with Rick Lamb, by the way) the DOD DOS Joint program called African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI). He was the DOD liaison to the DOS, headquartered in the US Embassy, for the first two ACRI training events. He coordinated the efforts of the DOD, DOS, US Chamber of Commerce, HN MOD, HN MOI, and the three other African countries’ MOD that sent troops to the training event. The POTUS singled him out for his efforts during a presidential visit to the international training.
After 9/11, Chief Halstead led one of the first 3rd SFG(A) teams into Afghanistan in March of 2002. On his first OEF deployment, he and his team worked directly with OGAs and the Afghan MOD national mission unit. On his second OEF deployment, he was the primary POC with the local Governor in the Asadabad Province. During this rotation, he commanded multiple CODA strike missions. Additionally, as the only ASOT L3 in the Province, he conducted clandestine singleton missions. For example, one mission led to information that allowed a follow-on combat patrol to (re) capture multiple MANPADS, which were hours away from being used against US helicopters. During his third combat rotation, Chief Halstead gathered the intelligence, wrote the OPORD, and led one of the three strike elements in the air assault battle of Dir Binay.
Awards and Decorations
Awards and Decorations
Currently, Chief Halstead is the co-founder and co-owner of Oplign. Oplign is a software company that uses AI/ML to align individuals to skills-based jobs. Amazon, Verizon, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Wells Fargo, Nationwide, and many others are currently using Oplign. Oplign’s Vetlign application aligns thousands of veterans to jobs every day. More than nearly all the other veteran organizations combined.