Ashley started her military career in the Ohio Army National Guard. She enlisted as a 31B (military police) as a mere private in 2011, attempting to gain her financial footing to alleviate the economic burden on her family. Up to that point, she would not have been able to afford school, nor had it been encouraged. She used to tell her soldiers frequently, “dispositions are not destinies; that with planning, resourcefulness, perseverance, and discipline, you can build any door of opportunity with time and patience.”
In the first three and a half years of her career, Ashley became a noncommissioned officer or sergeant, participating in best warrior completions, taking the initiative through additional duties, and acting as an education liaison for her company. Ashley spent all of her services within the great state of Ohio operating under state-side missions such as homeland response force (H.R.F.) and is a force readiness unit (F.R.U.) throughout the 437th Military Police Battalion. She served as a Sergeant and was promoted to an in-line staff sergeant position before exiting the service. She is a recipient of A.R.C.A.M., Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, and multiple superior ranked evaluations among her peers. After eight years of honorable service, Ashley left the National Guard in November 2019.
Ashley M. Gorbulja, holds a master’s in Public Health from the Consortium of Eastern Ohio of Public Health, a program from Northeast Ohio Medical University and the University of Akron with an emphasis on concentration in military transition, family policy, and community wellness. She also holds bachelor’s degrees in The Science of Education and The Science of Organizational Supervision with a minor in Psychology from Akron. Ashley is actively pursuing her second master’s in public leadership with the Veteran’s Campaign at the University of San Francisco.
Ashley is the recipient of $63k in scholarships on top of her 100% National Guard Scholarship, graduating debt-free with still an opportunity to earn her Forever GI Bill. In 2020, Ashley accepted a $27k full tuition for her second master’s. If you include her Washington Center internship/scholarship for an additional $14k, she has received over $77k in scholarships.
In 2019, Ashley was selected as a T.W.C. 2018 alumni to introduce and present the Lifetime Achievement Award to former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel at the Bridging to the Future: The Washington Center Annual Scholarship Dinner. During her undergraduate and master’s degrees, Ashley has been featured in an Ohio Army National Guard Profile in Success: SGT Gorbulja; A.M.V.E.T.S. Scholarship P.S.A.; American Legion national website and magazine features showcase her dedication to the veteran community.
Scholarships include A.M.V.E.T.S., The Dr. Aurelio M. Caccomo* Family Foundation Memorial Scholarship, U.S. Army Women’s Foundation Legacy Scholarship, Ohio Department of American Legion Scholarship, Michael T. Hayes Textbook Scholarship. Musson Foundation Scholarship, and more!
Awards include 2016 A-Key Life Award; 2017 UA Master Scholar Award; 2017 & 2018 Who’s Who among students in American Universities and Colleges award recipient and more!
Ashley is a consummating professional and a leading voice in supporting America’s military-connected community. She is a Public Affairs Specialist for the Office of the Assistant Under Secretary for Health (A.U.S.H.) for Patient Care Services (P.C.S.) in the Veterans Health Administration. Ashley develops content to support a full spectrum of communication such as talking points, presentations, blogs and speeches, responses to media queries, social media, email alerts, official correspondence, and website content to internal and external audiences.
She has dedicated her career to building nationally recognized programs, brands, and communities through strategic communications and marketing. Her other passion is focusing on improving the outcomes of non-traditional students in higher education, empowering call-to-action storytelling to demystify the military-civilian divide, and improving local, state, and federal policies and program development as a one-of-a-kind consultant. Ashley is currently a co-host on the award-winning National American Legion Podcast Tango Alpha Lima (T.A.L.).
Over the past eight and a half years, while pursuing her education, Ashley was a Student Veterans of America (S.V.A.) Akron Chapter member; Past Commander, Interim Commander & First Vice Commander of American Legion Post 808; a Program Assistant at Cuyahoga Community College Veteran Initiative office; the University of Akron (U.A.) Military Services office V.A. work-study; Graduate Assistant in the U.A. Office of Multicultural Development; was the 2015 military program volunteer of the year at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections Women’s Community Based Correctional Facility (where she helped create an incarcerated military mentorship program); and previously sat on an advisory board for Valor Home a transitional housing male/female Veterans. Ashley was a part of a team that helped establish Summit Liberty House specifically for homeless women Veterans and their children on September 26th, 2019.
Ashley helped nurture an inaugural American Legion post on the University of Akron’s campus, instilling the tenets of Engage, Educate, and Employ acting as a transitional hub to partner with the greater Akron community and Student Veterans America chapter on campus. She and her team raised over $100k through events/special projects to give back directly to the community.
In 2018, Ashley completed a ten-week internship with The American Legion (T.A.L.) The education and Employment division in Washington D.C. helped solidify the American Legion’s 100th National Convention resolutions. In 2019, Ashley served as the Master of Ceremonies for the Ohio T.A.L. Centennial Ball. She helped create a special scholarship fund with the department’s support to raise scholarship/grants for Ohio S.V.A. chapters to attend N.A.T.C.O.N. 2020 and Ohio Veterans, totaling over $20k. She currently serves as a member and executive board member of Post 180 in Vienna, Virginia; a Committee Member for the Department of Virginia’s Media and Communications Committee; and a past National Appointee of the American Legion Veterans Employment and Education Committee.
Ashley has been involved with many volunteer projects for Veteran fundraising initiatives, events, and community program participation over the past five years. Ashley is also a Veterati mentor, an S.V.A. alumni & mentor who has spoken on numerous panels at the Student Veterans of America N.A.T.C.O.N. 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022.
In 2019, Ashley won third overall best social media influencer nationally at the Military Influencer Conference: Military and Veteran Community Choice Awards for her campaigning for Ms. Veteran America as a Top 25 finalist. Ashley would finish the competition as a top ten finalist raising over $8k providing safe, suitable housing for homeless women, Veterans, and their children for roughly 365 days. Her eight-month campaign to include a ‘Ruck a Mile in Her Boots” event in Washington, DC National Mall (with the help of the National Parks Service and Women’s Memorial Tours) where she greeted four Honor Flights to include the third-ever all women Veteran honor flight.
Ashley was nominated for her work in the federal government as a Veteran Benefits Administration as their first-ever Marketing Specialist for the 2019 inaugural Women Veterans Interactive Sister Awards. She would go on with fellow nominees to create a March 2020 campaign/initiative called The Brave Women Serve(D) to highlight women Veterans’ stories.
Ashley was featured in the 2019 Ohio Documentary entitled “They Served Too,” showcasing local Ohio women Veterans and their service experiences, and a featured workshop presenter at the 2019 Ohio Women’s Veteran Conference. Ashley once again shared her experiences as a keynote and call to action speaker for the Central Ohio VA Behavioral Health symposium focusing on Women Veterans and Suicide Prevention discussing her military sexual trauma (M.S.T.) experience.
The Veteran Affairs Women Veteran Center has acknowledged Ashley during their 25th anniversary for her contributions to the women Veteran space and participation in Ms. Veteran America on November 11th, 2019. Shortly after, Ashley would make Ohio statehouse history as 1 of 3 providers of proponent testimony for the June 12th designation of Ohio Women’s Veterans Day (Senate Bill 77) officially signed December 12th, 2019, to celebrate the 72k + women Veterans in Ohio.
Ashley has been featured on several podcasts: Decision hour, Heroes Media Group, S.R.V.D., Women of the Military, MilFamily, Media Cynic, and more. She has been in numerous Akron alumni stories, the local paper(s), DD214 Chronicles, Military Families Magazine, GI Jobs, and Connect Vets, to name a few.
Ashley is the Founder and C.E.O. of GuideOn Education Consulting L.L.C. GuideOn™ Education, a veteran-focused consulting firm that connects, educates, and inspires organizations to communicate to a combined military-connected community of 27 million.
GuideOn serves as a strategic guide to leadership, teams, and contractor(s) in ways that promote your organization’s culture, vision and oversee the progress of operations and event planning in and around the military-connected community.
GuideOn advises, assists, trains, & coordinates in the development of efficient strategies and tactics in the following areas of expertise:
- Strategic Communication & Marketing
- Program Development
- Digital & Social Media Strategies
- Consumer Education & Branding
In 2018, only two months of forming her L.L.C., Ashley won the U.A./eBay $10k startup challenge earning a silver startup award and again in 2019 $10k Be the Change silver award. Ashley continues to expand her business and partners.
Learn more about how she and her team of Veterans and military spouses can help you share your organization’s story at www.GuideOnEducation.com.
Ashley is a force to be reckoned with, inspiring others with the mantra — I Can. I Will. Watch Me.