In remembrance of Army 1st Lieutenant
ASHLEY I. WHITE
September 3, 1987 - October 22, 2011
Army 1st Lt. Ashley White was one of the first members of the Cultural Support Team (CST), the first all-female military team, which put women on the battlefield with the Army Rangers, Green Berets, Navy SEALs and other Joint Special Operations Task Forces in Afghanistan. The CST’s mission was to conduct searches of Afghan women and children, build relationships and break down cultural barriers. This is something men in our military were never able to do.
1st Lt. Ashley White was killed during combat operations during Operation Enduring Freedom in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan on October 22, 2011 when the assault force she was supporting triggered an improvised explosive device.
Ashley’s efforts highlighted the importance and necessity of women on the battlefield and after her death the rules changed. The first two women Rangers sought out Deborah White, Ashley’s mother, while in DC to thank her for Ashley’s sacrifice. They told her they wouldn’t be Rangers if it wasn’t for Ashley opening the door for them.
1st Lt. Ashley White of Marlboro, Ohio was born on September 3, 1987. Following her graduation from Kent State University in 2009, she was commissioned in the U.S. Army and completed the Medical Services Officer Basic Course at Fort Sam in Houston, Texas and the U.S. Army Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. Ashley was assigned to the 230th Brigade Support Battalion, 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team and the North Carolina National Guard where she served as an Evacuation Platoon Leader.
Ashley’s awards and decorations include the Parachutists Badge, the Ohio Faithful Service Ribbon, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, the Army Reserve Achievement Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. Ashley was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and the Combat Action Badge. Ashley is one of three women featured in The National Museum of the United States Army in Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
Ashley always beat to her own drum, but her courage and desire to serve is the loudest message of all.
“It’s so inspiring the legacy she left…and everybody has the opportunity to leave a legacy” – Britanny Knappenberger, Ashley’s twin sister