Honoring the Military who Honor Nature

Ashlie Singer, United States Air Force

Ashlie Singer is a Major in the Air Force Reserve.

I was commissioned into the Air Force on December 21, 2001. I served on Active Duty for five years before joining the Reserves in 2006.

Before I graduated high school I was awarded an ROTC scholarship, and attended the University of Colorado at Boulder.

In my current role, I’m a Human Geography officer which means I try to go beyond the traditional views on solving problems. We don’t delve deeply enough into knowing our host countries or our adversaries, and human geography is a way of understanding things like water rights, education, religion and tribal cultures. Human geography helps to understand a problem or the “adversary” better. For example, if you understand that people have land use issues or water shortages, it ascribes reasoning to their actions.

I was fortunate enough to have deployed twice with the Air Force, once to Qatar and once to Iraq.

When I think back to when I was younger, I don’t feel as though I would have been described as “outdoorsy”. Part of my outdoor love comes from having to be inside so much as an adult. On the weekends, as a result, I really do want to be outside, and it’s made me appreciate nature so much more. It’s like a solace to me, and my passion for the outdoors has grown through the years. I just completed an outdoor survival school with the Boulder Outdoor Survival School (BOSS) and it was an amazing experience that taught me so much about my own limits and about our relationship with nature.

I support organizations like The Nature Conservancy who work to preserve nature for future generations – and I support Team Nature as they run the Marine Corps Marathon!

The views expressed above are those of the individual, and do not constitute an official policy statement of the Department of Defense.