Dawn Halfaker: From Fearless Army Veteran to Confident CEO

Dawn Halfaker had wanted to serve in the military for a long time. Life, however, had different plans for her.

On the morning of June 19, 2004, Halfaker and the military police platoon she commanded were on a reconnaissance patrol in Baqubah, Iraq. A rocket-propelled grenade hit the front of her Humvee, damaging her right shoulder, ribs, and lungs. The young Army Captain spent a year recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, but her right arm had to be amputated at the shoulder, thus putting an end to her military career.

Despite the circumstances, Halfaker still wished to serve her country. In her own words, “I desperately wanted to find a way to stay connected and continue to be part of the fight as my colleagues were still in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

After a period of interning on Capitol Hill, Halfaker realized she had no interest in politics. Knowing that she had something unique to offer to the defense industry, she founded Halfaker and Associates, a firm that offers security consulting to government clients, in January 2006. “They say necessity breeds innovation. So with my need and desire to be part of the fight, I decided to forge my own path and start my company.”

Halfaker and Associates now employs 160 people and provides professional services and technology solutions in the areas of physical security, emergency management, and security policy for military bases and the federal government. According to Halfaker, while she and her staff are focused on building the company, their number one priority is continuing to serve.

Aside from fulfilling the roles of president and CEO at her firm, Halfaker remains active in the veterans community as well. In addition to leading the board of directors of the Wounded Warrior Project, she also belongs to the advisory committees of ThanksUSA, Paradox Sports, and Humana Military Health Systems.

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