Colonel Ash was born in Milford, DE and enlisted in the U.S. Navy in October 1989, completing Naval Nuclear Power training as a reactor operator in April 1992. He reported to the U.S.S. Jefferson City (SSN 759), as a reactor operator. In August 1993, he transitioned from the Navy as an Electronics Technician Second Class, submarine qualified sailor to attend the Pennsylvania State University, commissioning as a Second Lieutenant in August 1996.
Colonel Ash graduated from The Basic School (TBS) and completed the Infantry Officers Course (IOC) in June 1997, reporting to the 2d Light Armored Reconnaissance (LAR) Battalion in Camp Lejeune, NC, where he deployed twice to the Republic of Panama. In May of 1999, he was selected to serve as the LAR Detachment commander for Battalion Landing Team 2/6, the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, where he participated in Operation Dynamic Response 2000 in Kosovo.
Colonel Ash reported to the Commanding General of Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, CA in September 2000, serving as the Aide de Camp to the Commanding General, followed by a tour as an infantry and fire support instructor at the Tactical Training Exercise Control Group. He attended Career Level School in Ft. Sill, Oklahoma from September 2003 to January 2004.
Upon completion of the Field Artillery Captains Career Course, Colonel Ash returned to Twentynine Palms reporting to 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines. He served as the assistant operations officer during Operation Iraqi Freedom-II in Al Qa’im, Iraq and as the Company Commander of Kilo Company, 3/7 during Operation Iraqi Freedom 4-06 in Ramadi, Iraq. Upon returning from Iraq Colonel Ash became the battalion operations officer until July 2007 when he reported to the Marine Corps Command and Staff College.
Colonel Ash graduated with a Master of Military Studies Degree from the Marine Corps Command and Staff College in June 2008 prior to assuming command of Marine Corps Recruiting Station Atlanta, GA through June 2011.
Colonel Ash reported to Marine Barracks Washington, 8th and I as the Operations Officer July 2011, becoming the Junior Aide to the Commandant of the Marine Corps in May of 2012.
Colonel Ash reported to 1st Marine Regiment August 2013, serving as the Regimental Executive Officer and deploying as the Executive Officer of Task Force Belleau Wood in support of Operation Enduring Freedom 14.1/2 returning from Afghanistan to take command of Marine Combat Training Battalion from July 2014 to June 2016.
Colonel Ash graduated from the College of Information and Cyberspace at National Defense University, in June 2017, as a Distinguished Graduate with a Master of Science Degree in Government Information Leadership with concentrations in Cyber Security, Long Term Strategy, and Diagnostic Net Assessment. Colonel Ash completed his joint service tour at USCYBERCOM serving in the J5 Future Plans Directorate and as the USCYBERCOM Senior Representative to an interagency partner. Colonel Ash returned to MARFORCYBER becoming the Director of Operations for Joint Force Headquarters Cyber-Marines/ JTF-ARES.
Colonel Ash’s personal decorations include: The Bronze Star w/ combat distinguishing device, “V”, the Purple Heart Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal w/ three gold stars, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal w/two gold stars, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal w/ gold star, and the Combat Action Ribbon w/ gold star.