Home' Army News : October 27th 2011 Contents NEWS 5
Army October 27, 2011
Building on great work
AFTER 32 years as a sol-
dier, WO David Ashley was
appointed as the ninth RSM
of the Army on September 29.
Despite his wealth of experience,
including a deployment to Afghanistan
as the RSM Combined Team -- Uruzgan
earlier this year, a modest WO Ashley
said he was surprised and touched to be
selected as RSM-A.
"It was a great honour to be chosen
to be RSM-A. When I look around at the
people I have had the privilege to work
with and when I compare myself against
all of those guys, it's
said.During his career
WO Ashley has
always looked to
take on new chal-
lenges and feels that
may have been the
reason he was cho-
"I believe I'm
the RSM-A because
I made the most of
I'm Army's sen-
ior soldier. I'm not
Army's best soldier and I'm not Army's
most competent soldier, but one thing
I've done is used all of the opportuni-
ties available to me over the years and
worked as hard as I could."
Since taking the reins of RSM-A
from Maj Steve Ward in August, WO
Ashley said he did not intend to approach
the role from a different angle.
"All I hope to do is build on the work
of Maj Ward and those before him," he
"Maj Ward needs to be commended
on raising the numbers and quality of our
junior leaders. He has worked to empow-
er our junior leaders and improved the
development for our warrant officers.
During his time as RSM-A he worked
tirelessly to make what is already a smart
Army even smarter.
"It's not a matter of doing something
different; it's about me now taking the
baton and building on the great work that
During WO Ashley's tenure as
RSM-A he hopes to uphold the two
enduring symbols of the Army -- the
slouch hat and rising sun badge. He also
wants to continue to improve Army's
internal communications from the grass
roots right up to the Chief and vice versa.
"The great strength of the Australian
Army is our egalitarianism," he said.
"To me that means that everyone has
equal worth and we all own Army. Our
Army will never be more than the sum of
all of us.
"I would also like to empower and
raise the profile and status of our junior
leaders, because, after all, the corporals
are the backbone
of our Army. They
turn orders, policies
and directives into
ing on his life and
the path that led him
to become RSM-A,
WO Ashley said his
military career was
sparked by pursuit of
a hearty meal.
"I didn't come
from a very rich fam-
ily," he said.
"I remember in
the late '70s there
that went something like this: 'the food,
there's lashings of it. I haven't eaten
like this since I stayed with my nan in
Kempsey'. It was a great ad and it really
caught my eye.
"One day when I was in Melbourne
I saw a guy in his military uniform in
the street. He must have been a recruiter
because when I walked down the street
ship and pictures behind it of these sail-
ors under palm trees eating great food.
The mental image of it dragged me up
"The first guy I met was an Army
corporal and he was the guy I always
wanted to be -- he was really fit, he had
a perfectly tailored uniform and he said
'can I help you'. Shortly after that I was
"I remember my first night in
Kapooka and the sheets were like card-
board, listening to the bugle calls and I
knew I had found my calling and here I
am 32 years later."
New RSM-A WO David Ashley tells Cpl Zenith
King his plans for empowering junior leaders and
continuing the work of his predecessor.
PRIDE, FAITH AND MATESHIP MATTER
DURING his tenure as
RSM-A WO Ashley hopes
to focus on fostering the
Army's values of courage,
initiative and teamwork
along with the "I'm an
Australian solder" ini-
tiative and the nine core
behaviours that underpin
"I would also like to
foster the intangibles
of service, in particular
pride, faith and mateship,"
"There is so much to
be proud of being a sol-
dier. We are adding to our
history right now, we are
adding to our future pride
in places like Afghanistan, East Timor,
Solomon Islands and our own domestic
"Another intangible is faith, faith in
our organisation and in ourselves to
do our job on operations. Every soldier
regardless of their rank can make a
suggestion to their chain of command
to make things better and I believe any-
one in a position of leadership who has
the power to make change for the better
needs to do that.
"Third is being a mate. That doesn't
only mean being a personal friend; our
mates are those who are linked to us by
the common thread of the uniform we
have all earned the right to wear. We
need to extend our mateship to those
as we expect them to extend it to us."
Mateship: Australian soldiers show a number
of intangible qualities that contribute to their
success, according to RSM-A WO David Ashley.
Photo by LS Paul Berry
strength of the
Australian Army is
To me that means
that everyone has
equal worth and
we all own Army."
-- WO David Ashley
Senior digger: WO David Ashley was appointed RSM-A on September 29 and hopes to improve internal
communications at all levels of the Army during his time in the top enlisted job.
Photo by Cpl Zenith King
Links Archive October 13th 2011 November 10th 2011 Navigation Previous Page Next Page