Washingtonian Takes Command

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Capt. Ashley relaxes with a 1000+ page epic fantasy novel during his free time.

The 104th Headquarters and Headquarters Company Change of Command ceremony took place in July of this year. HHC has a new Commander and his name is Cpt. Collin Ashley. He is a native of Washington State, graduating from Tumwater High School as one of only three students to accomplish both a diploma and an Associate’s Degree before receiving a scholarship to Pacific Lutheran University and going into the ROTC program.

Ashley completed ROTC and graduated from college in 2013 before heading off to complete his training in Field Artillery. His first duty station was Korea, then an assignment to Ft. Bliss as the Rear Detachment Commander for Bravo Battery, 2-29 FA. He completed his Active Duty time in 2017, had a brief stint in the IRR, and then entered the US Army Reserve. His Reserve commitment allows him to participate in an area of expertise close to his heart – finance. Forecasting and planning budgets takes a creative and elastic mind, one that this Commander intends to use to the benefit of everyone in HHC.

Supporting his team of Soldiers so they can actively lead from the front is one of Ashley’s main focuses. He is well versed in understanding interpersonal dynamics as he is the middle brother to older brother Victor and younger brother Ian; but he may be most influenced by two men, his father and Lt. Col. Hutnik.

New HHC Commander Capt. Ashley

 

Ashley observes the resolve of these men and identifies that leadership doesn’t have to be loud to be heard, nor does it have to be flashy to be seen. What leadership does need is be humble and relatable to be impactful. Cpt. Ashley is striving to be a Commander seen through his personal commitment to the success of ALL those he leads. His unassuming way gives only a glimpse of how very complex of an individual he is.

Complexity doesn’t make him an elitist however.

Ashley has favorite movies, favorite authors and inspiring individuals he finds fascinating products of humanity. Like so many of us he has filled his time during this Pandemic listening to audiobooks while completing projects at his home, playing board games, and walking his loaner dog Sherman (Richard Sherman) to pass the time.

Though he considers his idle time as productive, he also addressed the reality of what this “time in history” means to the individual Soldier and many other individuals dealing with the result of self-isolation. He stresses the importance of being able to create an environment within his ranks that would truly not leave anyone behind. He candidly spoke of those he knows that have suffered the ill effects that can occur when you lose contact with your daily routine, friends, co-workers, etc. and boldly expressed that this isn’t what he wants for his Soldiers. He encourages Soldiers to never be afraid to use ALL of the resources available to keep your mind, heart, and soul right. He emphasized your chain {of command}, Military One Source, and civilian programs are always available. Ashley has personally acted as a resource for those in his family and friends who have dealt with the mental health effects during this time.

All in all, expect a bright future ahead for HHC with this new Commander. Ashley has the ability to balance the challenges of Virtual Battle Assemblies and mandatory training with a calm demeanor; he believes in the necessity of training and that training can be a delight not a dirge. Ashley sincerely believes in the success of the individual as well as the collective ability for HHC to lead from the front.

Favorite Movie: A Knight’s Tale

Favorite Author: Brandon Sanderson

Favorite Celebrity: Patrick Rothfuss

Commander’s Quote: “I hope that people that I’ve led think I was fair and had a positive impact on their life in some way.”

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