Major Phil Ashby is a former Royal Marines Commando who gained massive recognition after a heroic escape from rebels in the jungles of Sierra Leone.
Ashby was deployed to Sierra Leone as a military observer with the UN peacekeeping forces tasked with disarming the rebel fighters from the Revolutionary United Front. The situation became hostile and rebels entered the house where Ashby and two fellow British officers and a New Zealander officer capturing them and holding them hostage.
After a narrow escape, they sought refuge at the Kenyan army outpost where they helped defend the camp against several days of attacks. Eventually, a decision was taken to escape through the jungle. Fighting dehydration and hunger, the men survived close encounters with the enemy and, assisted by local tribesmen, were eventually rescued by the British forces. He was awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal for his bravery on return to his homeland.
Phil is a genuine ‘hero’ who showed the limits of motivation, teamwork, and ability to overcome adversity as he survived in the jungle for seven days without food and water while leading his team’s rescue mission. He suffered major paralysis in his legs which to this day still troubles him below the knee.
Having retired from military service Phil pursues his passion of climbing in the French Alps where he works as a high caliber professional mountain guide. He thrives on his motivation honed throwing his extreme experiences and refers to these as an expert motivational speaker.
His life is a story of courage, motivation, and resistance. Due to his ability to relate businesses and everyday life to his survival, Phil has gained a reputation as an expert speaker on leadership.
Phil’s autobiography titled ‘Unscathed: Escape from Sierra Leone’ was a bestseller. He is often the top choice as a speaker for organizations wanting to inject improvements in leadership, teamwork and ultimately improve motivation.
"I just wanted to write and thank you for such a wonderful presentation at the recent UFI Congress in Munich. Talking to 51 different nationalities is fraught with difficulties but you managed to hold all their attentions."