A native of Lorman, Mississippi, Command Master Chief Ballard enlisted in the Navy as an undesignated Airman Recruit via the delayed entry program prior to graduating from Jefferson County High School in May 1995. He attended Recruit Training, and Airman Apprenticeship Training at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, Illinois.
Sea duty assignments include: the Kitty Hawk-class super-carrier, USS America (CV 66), homeported in Norfolk, Virginia; Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron ONE, home ported in Oak Harbor, Washington; Precommissioning Detachment (PCD) Makin Island, Precommissioning Unit (PCU) Makin Island, and USS Makin Island (LHD 8), home ported in San Diego, California; Commander, Carrier Strike Group FIFTEEN, located on board Naval Air Station, North Island; and USS JACKSON (LCS 6) home ported in San Diego, California.
Shore duty assignments include: Mobile Mine Assembly Unit ONE in Seal Beach, California; the Center for Naval Leadership, Learning Site Coronado, California; and U.S. Naval Air Facility Misawa, Japan.
He was selected for the Command Senior Chief Program February 2014, shortly after reporting on board Commander, Carrier Strike Group FIFTEEN. He assumed the duties and responsibilities as Littoral Combat Ship, Precommissioning Crew 210’s first Command Senior Chief, May 2015; and subsequently transferred to Littoral Combat Ship, Crew 212 August 2015, in support of commissioning, deployment and operational employment of USS JACKSON (LCS 6), whereas the command earned its first Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Battle Effectiveness Award.
Command Master Chief Ballard is a certified NJROTC Naval Science Instructor. He has previously served as the 2017 Enlisted Leadership Foundation Chief Petty Officer Legacy Academy Command Master Chief;
Chairman for The Foundry Class 002 Leadership Academy, and is a graduate of the Department of the Navy, Military Justice and Civil Law Senior Enlisted Leadership Course; Department of the Navy, Senior Enlisted Academy, Class #139 (Gray); and the Department of the Navy, Command Leadership School CMC/COB Course, Class #128. He holds an Associate of Arts Degree from the University of Maryland.
Qualifications include: Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist; Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist; Emergency Operations Center Incident Management; Drug and Alcohol Program Advisor; Career Information Program Advisor; Yeoman Flag Writer; Department of the Army, Army Action Officer; and Department of the Navy Command Fitness Leader.
His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (five); the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (five), the Good Conduct Medal (seven), and various service and campaign awards.