Determination was key for Army Veteran serving our utility

Back in high school, Ashika Gonzales aspired to become a police officer. However, Ashika was 17 years old and didn’t meet the age requirement to attend the police academy and carry a weapon. This didn’t crush her spirit and she wasn’t going go wait. Ashika decided on a different path to fulfill her dream of becoming an officer. Her silver bullet was joining the U.S. Armed Forces.

Today, we shine the spotlight on Ashika as we observe Women Veterans Day.

Ashika joined the U.S. Army in 1998. She proudly served as a military police officer and then as a dental assistant instructor.

She later earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a minor in psychology, which led to new opportunities for this Soldier. During her 23 years of service, Ashika was a Logistics Officer and held several other leadership positions before rising to the rank of Captain.

She also had the opportunity to command her own company. She led the Soldiers of the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment (HHD) 52nd Ordnance Group, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD). This highly trained group was responsible for conducting operations globally to support other companies or government agencies to counter chemical biological radiological nuclear and explosives (CBRNE) and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) threats.

“There is no greater privilege than to be entrusted with taking care of Soldiers and their families, improving the company’s morale and making policy changes that would positively impact their lives on a professional and personal level,” she said.

Ashika retired from the U.S. Army in April 2022. She joined CPS Energy a month later, in the Strategic Alignment Planning & Performance area. As a Business Analyst, she explained that her work is key to ensure all of our business areas are strategically aligned and working toward common overarching goals and objectives.

What does she enjoy most about working for the utility? “I enjoy the family culture I see at CPS Energy, not just internally, but externally with the community through the partnerships and participation in various volunteer events and outreach programs with stakeholders. This truly is a One Team culture, and we continue to strive to be better every day.”

We salute Ashika for her service to our nation, company and community.  

You can find more information about Women Veterans Day here.

Pam Maris

Pam is part of the Corporate Communications team at CPS Energy.

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