A Marine Corps tank officer from the Twentynine Palms base who led his company to victory in a five-day battle against insurgents in Afghanistan last year will be honored with the prestigious Leftwich Trophy later this year.
Capt. Christopher Ashinhurst, commander of Delta Company, 1st Tank Battalion, will receive the annual award that recognizes an outstanding Marine captain in the ground forces. Ashinhurst was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat Valor Device for exceptional bravery during a grueling fight against enemy forces that had surrounded and cut off a Marine special operations team in Afghanistan’s Helmand province. Under Ashinhurst’s leadership, his company was able to kill 60 insurgents and disrupt the efforts of the enemy. Ashinhurst later led his company to assist allies after an outpost had been attacked, rendering aid to a Georgian soldier and organizing the transport of casualties to medical aid. He later maneuvered his tanks to protect against further enemy attacks.