Rear Adm. George Ballance is a native of Yorktown, Virginia, and the son of a World War II veteran. He attended the University of South Carolina on a Reserve Officers Training Corps scholarship earning his Bachelor of Science in Science and Mathematics. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as an ensign in May 1980.
After completion of Surface Warfare Officer School in 1981, he reported to USS Saipan (LHA 2) where he served as gunnery officer and later as electrical officer. In May 1983, he reported to Commander Amphibious Squadron (COMPHIBRON) 10 as the assistant readiness officer and in June 1984 he resigned his regular commission accepting a commission in the Navy Reserve.
Ballance was commanding officer of five reserve units including Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet; Navy Personnel Command (PERS 49); Commander Logistics Group, Western Pacific; Personnel Mobilization Team 1611; and Fleet Support Training Team 1811. Other reserve assignments were chief staff officer, Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet; executive officer, Military Sealift Command Office, Korea; executive officer, USS Pratt 208; department head, Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet; and intelligence analyst, Fleet Intelligence Reserve Det. 1811.
His flag assignments included vice commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa, U.S. 6th Fleet; and deputy commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. Ballance was recalled to active duty in 2012 and his most recent assignment was director, J7 (Theater Engagement), U.S. Southern Command. He was responsible for the overall planning, programming and synchronization of United States military engagement activities and programs throughout South America, Central America and the Caribbean. He currently serves as the commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet.
He holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas and has completed multiple programs at the National Defense University, Air Command and Staff College, University of North Carolina, Babson College and Florida International University.
Ballance was awarded the Naval Merit of Order from the government of Brazil. He also holds various service medals and decorations, including the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (four awards), Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards), and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards).