By Staff Sgt. Jeffrey S. Smith, (4-25th Airborne Brigade Combat TeamFebruary 26, 2013
Army Sgt. Ashley A. Walker, a military police officer with the 425th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, is the Army's Female Athlete of the Year for 2012.
Walker earned the award for her talent and athleticism as a player on the 2012 All-Army Women's Softball Team.
She joins a select group of Army athletes from the Pacific region who swept the Army's annual awards. The awards are selected by Army Installation Management Command Headquarters on Joint Base San Antonio Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
Sgt. Michael Dochwat Jr., of Fort Shafter, Hawaii, an All-Army Softball player, was selected as the Male Athlete of the Year; and Sgt. Angel Rivera of U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan in Seoul, South Korea, was named Coach of the Year for his efforts leading the All-Army Men's Volleyball Team.
Walker credits her teammates for the award and her late husband, Brian L. Walker.
Brian, who was also with the 425 BSTB, was killed by a roadside bomb during combat operations in Afghanistan, May 13, 2012.
"I didn't win it alone," Walker said. "It was my team that made this all happen, and I had the best angel on my side; my husband, my hero."
The 2012 All-Army Women's Softball Team won its annual tournament against the Marines, Navy, and Air Force with an overall record of eight wins and one loss. The players received their gold medals for their victory, Sept. 20, 2012, at Fort Sill, Okla.
Walker played third base for her team, and she was recognized as one of the best players in the tournament by being selected for the 15-member All-Tournament Team.
In addition to being honored on the All-Tournament Team and winning the gold medal, Walker was selected to play on the All-Armed Forces Team. The All-Armed Forces Team picks the best players from all of the Armed Services in the tournament.
The All-Armed Forces Team played against top tiered civilian teams from across the nation, and they placed 2nd overall at the national tournament held in Oklahoma City.
Walker has been on three All-Army Women's Softball Teams. Her first team won the gold medal in 2010, the silver medal in 2011, and the gold medal again this past year in 2012.
Her active Army enlistment is nearly complete. She will soon be entering into the Arizona National Guard with the 856th Military Police Company in Camp Navajo, Ariz.
Walker said she plans to pursue a criminal justice degree and continue her career in law enforcement as a police officer.