First Lieutenant Ashley White was killed on October 22, 2011 by an improvised explosive device while on duty in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. She was part of a Cultural Support Team (CST) of women working with a Joint Special Operations Task Unit. Though women were banned from serving in ground combat units in 2011, a need for skills only a woman could provide got Ashley and her teammates attached to the unit in a support role. Having them “support” the unit rather than being assigned to it circumvented the ground combat ban. As author Gayle Tzemach Lemmon chronicles in her 2015 best-selling book Ashley’s War , Ashley and her teammates wanted to be there, were in every way qualified and prepared to be there, and served their country well. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter lifted the ground combat restriction in 2015. Today, Ashley White would no longer be structurally banned from serving in the role where she was critically needed. Objections to lifting the ban had come primarily from the Marine Corps, which raised some concerns when Marine Corps General (retired) James Mattis was nominated as Secretary of Defense in 2016.