Rear Adm. Ballance currently serves as director, J7 (Theater Engagement), United States Southern Command. He is responsible for the overall planning, programming, and synchronization of United States military engagement activities and programs throughout Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. Ballance manages the Combatant Command’s Theater Security Cooperation Portfolio, including the specific focus areas of Training, Exercises, Security Assistance, Humanitarian Assistance, Science and Technology, and the State Partnership Program.
Ballance, the son of a World War II veteran, is a Yorktown, Va., native. He attended the University of South Carolina on a Reserve Officers Training Corps scholarship earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Science and Mathematics in 1980. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as an ensign in May 1980. In addition, he earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1995.
After completion of Surface Warfare Officer School in 1981, he reported to the USS Saipan (LHA 2) where he served as gunnery officer and, later as, electrical officer. In May 1983, he reported to Commander Amphibious Squadron 10 as the assistant readiness officer and, in June 1984, he resigned his regular commission and accepted a commission in the Navy Reserve (NR), first affiliating at Naval Air Station Dallas.
Significant Navy Reserve tours include vice commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe, U.S. Naval Forces Africa, and U.S. 6th Fleet director, Maritime Partnership Program; deputy commander, U.S. 7th Fleet; commanding officer of NR Commander, 7th Fleet; chief staff officer, NR Commander, 6th Fleet Det. 802; Commanding Officer, NPC-49R; commanding officer, Commander Logistics Group, Western Pacific Det. 610; commanding officer, Naval Reserve Personnel Mobilization Team 1611; executive officer, Military Sealift Command Office Korea Det. 111; commanding officer, FLTSUPTRA Det. 1811; executive officer, USS Pratt Det. 208, department head, NR commander, 7th Fleet Det. 111, and intelligence analyst and briefing officer, Fleet Intelligence Reserve Team, Atlantic, 867.
Ballance has attended the Senior Navy Reserve Officer Orientation course; Navy Reserve Advanced Management Seminar; Basic Intelligence Training course; Air Command and Staff College, Mid-Grade Surface Warfare Officer School; Military Sealift Command School; Armed Forces Staff College, and National Defense University.
Among his military decorations, Ballance has been the recipient of the Legion of Merit (four awards), Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards) and various other service medals and ribbons.