Robert W. Ashby Jr. was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and raised in Lone Jack, Missouri. He enlisted in June 2000 and underwent training at Golf Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California. Private Ashby was meritoriously promoted to Private First Class at the completion of recruit training. In November of 2000, Private First Class Ashby completed Marine Combat Training at Camp Pendleton, California.
Private First Class Ashby was ordered to Marine Corps Communication Electronic School in Twentynine Palms, California, where he earned the Military Occupational Specialty 5942, Aviation Radar Repairer. In March of 2001, he was promoted to Lance Corporal.
October of 2001, Lance Corporal Ashby was ordered to MACS-2, MACG-28, 2nd MAW, MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina where he served as an Aviation Radar Repairer. During his tenure, he deployed to Uzbekistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from February 2002 to July 2002. He was promoted to the rank of Corporal in April of 2004.
Corporal Ashby executed Permanent Change of Station Orders in May of 2004 to MACS-4, MACG-18, 1st MAW, MCAS Futenma, Okinawa, Japan where he served as an AN/TPS-63B Crew Chief.
He reported to Marine Corps Communication Electronic School in Twentynine Palms, California in June of 2005 and was subsequently promoted to Sergeant. October of 2005, Sergeant Ashby earned the Military Occupational Specialty 5948, Aviation Radar Technician.
In October of 2005, Sergeant Ashby was assigned to Marine Corps Communication Electronic School in Twentynine Palms, California, where he served in the billets of Chief Instructor, Curriculum Developer and received recognition as Basic Instructor of the year for 2006.
In June of 2008, Sergeant Ashby reported to Inspector-Instructor duty with MACS-23, MACG-48, 4th MAW, Aurora, Colorado where he was assigned the billets of Maintenance Chief, S-6 SNCOIC and Squadron GySgt. July of 2008 he was promoted to Staff Sergeant. During his tenure, he attended and completed the 1st Battalion (Airborne), 507th Infantry Regiment Basic Airborne Course.
In May of 2011. Staff Sergeant Ashby was transferred to Early Warning and Control Detachment, MACS-2, MACG-28, 2nd MAW, MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina where he was assigned the billets of Maintenance Chief, Maintenance OIC, and Detachment SNCOIC. During his tour, he completed two combat deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. He was promoted to the rank of Gunnery Sergeant in April of 2012.
In June of 2015, Gunnery Sergeant Ashby was transferred to Marine Corps Communication Electronic School in Twentynine Palms, California where he was assigned the billets of AN/TPS-63B Chief Instructor and Headquarters Company First Sergeant. He was frocked to the rank of First Sergeant in January of 2016 and assumed the duties as the Alpha Company First Sergeant.
In January of 2017, First Sergeant Ashby was transferred to 3d LAR Battalion, 1st MarDiv, Twentynine Palms, California, where he assumed the duties as Apache Company First Sergeant. During his tour at 3d LAR, he deployed to Okinawa, Japan under the Unit Deployment Program.
In July of 2018, First Sergeant Ashby was transferred to Inspector-Instructor Staff, Bridge Company C, 6th ESB, 4th MLG as the Inspector-Instructor First Sergeant. During this tour, he conducted 525 funerals, and 4 Casualty Assistance Calls along with many Toys for Tots events supporting the local community.
From 15 February 2021 to 15 December 2022, Sergeant Major Ashby served as the Sergeant Major for 3d Low Altitude Air Deference Bn, MACG-38, 3rd MAW.
In January 2023, Sergeant Major Ashby reported to 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st MarDiv to serve as the Battalion Sergeant Major.
Sergeant Major Ashby's personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal with one gold star in lieu of second award, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with two gold stars in lieu of third award and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with one silver star in lieu of sixth award. He graduated from American Military University with an Associates of General Studies and Bachelor’s in Management.