22 October 2011
Written By: Drew Borsz
Ashley White was a woman who died a Special Operator. You don’t hear much anymore about the debate you used to, about whether women should fight alongside men in combat roles. Women are excluded from certain combat military occupational specialties. But because of the nature of the type of wars we have been involved in for the last 10 years, women find themselves fighting and dying alongside their male counterparts. Ashley was excluded from qualifying to earn and wear the Green Beret, the tan beret (Rangers), or get qualified in any other special military units that are for men only. But because Ashley was a female, she died alongside her special operator brethren. As a member of a Cultural Support Team (CST) for the Army or the Female Engagement Teams (FET) for the Marine Corps, Ashley and women like her, can volunteer to engage civilians on the battlefield in a way that men cannot. It is because of her gender that the Special Forces needed her. Ashley proved her worth as a soldier and team mate for the Special Operations unit she was assigned to. And she died like one.
Mr. Drew Borsz is a retired Special Forces NCO who helped develop and taught Cultural Support Teams (CST) for the US Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School