Office of the Provost
Provost Rear Admiral John R. Ballard, Ph.D., USMS
Rear Admiral John R. Ballard, Ph.D., USMS, assumed responsibilities as the Academic Dean and Provost at the United States Merchant Marine Academy on September 22, 2018. He earned his B.S. at the United States Naval Academy, his M.A. at California State University, Dominquez Hills, his brevet d’études militaires supérieures at the French Command and Staff College in Paris, France, and his Ph.D. at The Catholic University of America.
Rear Admiral Ballard began his professional life as a Marine infantry officer. He has commanded units at the platoon, company, battalion and group levels in both the active and reserve components. Rear Admiral Ballard served as the Chief of Plans for Joint Task Force 190 in peace operations during operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti, as the Chief of Plans and Polices at Marine Forces Pacific for operation Enduring Freedom, and commanded the Marines, Soldiers and Sailors of the 4th Civil Affairs Group in combat during operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq.
As an academic, RDML Ballard initially served as an Associate Professor and then Professor of History at the Joint Forces Staff College before he was selected as the foundation Chair and Professor of Defence Studies at New Zealand’s Massey University. Later he served as Professor of Joint Military Operations at the Naval War College, as Professor of National Security Strategy at the National War College, as Academic Dean at the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, as Dean of Faculty and Academic Programs at the National War College, and as the founding Dean of the National Defense College in the United Arab Emirates. Most recently, he served as the Vice President and Director of the Servicemembers Opportunity College at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.
RDML Ballard has published articles in Joint Force Quarterly, the Marine Corps Gazette, Military Review, the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, Terrorism and Political Violence, Small Wars and Insurgencies, and Nation Shield; his published books include: Upholding Democracy: the U.S. Military Campaign in Haiti 1994-1997 (Praeger, 1998), Continuity during the Storm (Greenwood, 2000), Fighting for Fallujah (Praeger Security International, 2006), Triumph of Self-Determination, Operation Stabilise and United Nations Peacemaking in East Timor (Praeger Security International, 2008), From Storm to Freedom, The Long American War with Iraq (Naval Institute Press, 2010), and From Kabul to Baghdad and Back, the U.S. at War in Iraq and Afghanistan (Naval Institute Press, 2012). His most recent co-authored book, National Security Education: Developing Strategic Leaders for 21st Century Security Challenges, was published by the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research in 2021.
Rear Admiral Ballard has been recognized with a Distinguished Writing Award from the Army Historical Foundation, a Department of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, the Secretary of Transportation Superior Achievement Medal, and various military decorations, including the Defense Superior Service Medal, and the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star medals for service in combat during the Iraq War. He was also the recipient of the Society of the Colonial Daughters of the Seventeenth Century Award and the General Horace Porter Award in History at the U.S. Naval Academy.