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While the Spartan-IIIs of Alpha and Beta Companies "graduated" into the UNSC Navy, as Ash held the UNSC Marine Corps rank of Private, it is possible that Gamma Company "graduated" into the Marine Corps or Army. However, since the other members of his squad held the rank of Petty Officer Third Class (the equivalent of a Corporal in the Marine Corps), it is assumed the rank was a mistake.
Ash joined the SPARTAN-III program, developed by Colonel James Ackerson around 2546 between the ages of 5 and 7 when he, along with other orphans volunteered to become Spartans to avenge his family and home planet. Once on Onyx, he and the other SPARTAN-III candidates were trained by Lieutenant Commander Kurt Ambrose and Senior Chief Petty Officer Mendez.
Ash was assigned to lead Team Saber. When Onyx came under attack by Sentinels, the teams were still competing for top honors, and Ash had nearly lost it for his team by walking into a trap set up by one of the other teams. In an effort to avoid additional traps, he took his team dangerously close to Zone 67 to avoid the other teams. There, the team spied what they assumed at the time to be a new kind of Covenant drone because of the energy shields.
They decided to investigate, and the drones—Sentinels—engaged. Ash dispatched scouts to reconnoiter and figure out the weak spots of the drones. He and the rest of the team hurled rocks at the drones and to their surprise, the robots' shields did not activate. Curiously enough, one drone responded to Ash's COM, and talked to him in Latin, calling him "Reclaimer."
The team then moved to the armory to get some real firepower. Team Saber met up with Kurt, Mendez, Tom, and Lucy, and the Spartans proceeded to play life and death games of cat and mouse with the Sentinels. The team met up with Kelly-087 and Dr. Catherine Halsey, escorting the two to a bombed out bunker. In the bunker, Dr. Halsey revealed the origin of the Sentinels and what to do next.
Just as Team Saber was in the middle of battling the Sentinels, the Covenant destroyer Bloodied Spirit dropped out of Slipspace over Onyx, carrying the remaining members of Blue Team: SPARTAN-104, SPARTAN-058 and SPARTAN-043. The ship landed rather abruptly in the forest at the source of an E-Band signal that Kurt and the other Spartans had sent. Ash and the others were knee deep in Sentinel trouble and decided to retreat back to Zone 67 and regroup, with Blue Team.
By now, the team had figured out that the Sentinels only came after them in pairs, and there was always a third Sentinel that acted as an observer, recording the battles and reporting back to the others. This tactic made the Sentinels smarter after each battle; the only way to turn the tables would be for the teams to take out all three of the Sentinels, a strategy that they attempted and succeeded at.
After the team destroyed the trio of Sentinels, they moved into Zone 67. Once there, they discovered the map room and the location of Team Katana. Olivia had picked up Katana squad's signal earlier. They'd reported they were being forced into Zone 67; their signal was lost shortly thereafter. First, Dr. Halsey proposed that they go to the Sentinel factory to prevent the production of additional Sentinels. Then, they moved to find Team Katana.
In looking in the map room and examining the Forerunner text, Dr. Halsey figured out how to utilize the Forerunners Slipspace Translocation System, similar to the one Cortana used on Installation 04. Just before the team was about to jump to Team Katana, AI Endless Summer contacts Dr. Halsey and Kurt-051, telling them they need to destroy the Sentinel manufacturing facility in order to save Battlegroup Stalingrad. Halsey gets the teleportation grid working, and they all teleport to the Sentinel Production Facility near the northern pole in Onyx. Halsey sends them to destroy three key structures, which would bring the entire production to a halt. Using the teleportation grid, they go to the three structures and trick Sentinels into firing on them on a line with the structures. Having destroyed the structures, they teleport back.
Ash and the rest of the team arrive at Team Katana’s holding area to find them in some sort of cryo-Slipspace containment cells. Dr. Halsey found out the meaning of the Shield World and also found out that the Covenant knew the location of the group and was on the way with an entire armada of troops to attempt to stop them.
Ash, along with the other Spartans made a loose half-circle kill zone around the entrance to the Shield World and picked off targets at range. They managed to defend the entrance to the shield, although, it had come at some serious losses. Will, Dante, and Holly had already died at the hands of the Covenant. He was visibly distraught at Holly's death. There was little time left and the Covenant forces were closing in for the final kill. Kurt ordered Ash to take his team through the rift. Soon after, Dr. Halsey and the surviving SPARTAN-IIs came through and lastly, Lucy came through with an unconscious Tom over her shoulder. The team waited for Kurt to arrive, but he never came. Once the team was inside the Dyson Sphere, they made gravestones for William, Dante, Kurt, and Holly and were accepted into Blue Team by Kelly-087, along with Olivia and Mark.
- ↑ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 100 - The average age was only twelve in 2539.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Halo Waypoint Forums - Catalog Interaction
- ↑ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 254 - "(Kurt) turned to Ash. 'Private'. 'Sir.' Ash said, and stood straighter."
- ↑ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 133 - "Fhejelet 'Pnught Juber."
- ↑ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 230
- ↑ Halo: Ghost of Onyx, pages 131-132