Nation Remembers Trailblazing Alumna Who Opened Doors for Women in the Military

CBS News spotlights Ashley White's military service during network's Memorial Day coverage



1st Lt. Ashley White, who graduated from Kent State University in 2009 with a bachelor of science degree in athletic training, was recently featured in CBS News' Memorial Day coverage for her trailblazing service and ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan. Tragically, White was killed at age 24 by an improvised explosive device during her deployment. 

White, who grew up in Northeast Ohio, joined the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps during her second semester at Kent State. According the CBS News report, she went on to be recruited as one of the first few dozen women soldiers deployed alongside U.S. Special Operations forces in 2011, at a time when female personnel were still banned from combat roles. The CBS News story highlights how White's courageous service helped pave the way for the full integration of women into combat roles in 2013. She is remembered as a humble hero who "let her actions speak for themselves."

As part of a Cultural Support Team tasked with facilitating interactions with Afghan women and children, White earned numerous military accolades, including the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. She received her first combat action badge from the U.S. Army shortly after arriving in Afghanistan, after using her own body to shield a group of civilian women and children when gunfire broke out in Kandahar province. Everyone survived and White never mentioned the badge to anyone in her battalion, the CBS News report stated.

Despite her humility, White has left behind a far-reaching legacy. She is among a small group of women honored for acts of valor in the National Museum of the U.S. Army in Virginia, as well having two housing complexes for women veterans in two states named after her, and several scholarships.

Read the full story about Ashley White’s life and legacy from CBS News.

Information on the Ashley White Fund for Veterans Services.

POSTED: Tuesday, May 28, 2024 03:54 PM
Updated: Wednesday, May 29, 2024 03:16 PM
Amy Antenora