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Command Master Chief Ken Ballard

Now that NJROTC instructor Chief Bulda has retired after twenty-five years at Clark, a new instructor has come to support Clark’s program. Introducing Chief Ballard, the new instructor responsible for leading the sophomore and junior cadets of ROTC.

Prior to teaching here at Clark, Chief Ballard served twenty-five years in the Navy. Now, with the opportunity to teach in a program that embodies the same ideals he pursued in the service, Ballard has high expectations for the ROTC program.

“My goals for this program are the Navy’s goals,” Master Chief Ballard explained. “They are one in the same: promote patriotism, develop informed and responsible citizens, develop respect for authority, develop leadership potential, promote high school completion, promote higher education, enhance the community, foster a higher degree of honor, self-reliance, individual discipline and leadership. These goals are a part of me… [they are] truly why I am here.

Although Chief Ballard has led sailors in the navy, he has never taught teenagers before. However, he won’t let that stop him.

“This is my first year teaching children. The largest shifts I’ve had to make… in teaching… are body language, which I work hard on correcting each day, and patience. Daily, I remind myself that the needs of children are different from Sailors operating on a warship or a… deployed main operating base. Ultimately, I plan to do what I have been doing for the last 25 years: prepare, plan, expect, and treat people with dignity and respect.”

In addition, Chief Ballard believes that, despite virtual learning, the JROTC program will continue to do well.

“This NJROTC program is fortunate to have the experienced upperclassmen, known as the Cadet leadership, who happen to be absolutely phenomenal in demonstrating a positive attitude in taking advantage of the opportunity to continue their education. It is my observation that they are doing their best while helping their fellow Cadets navigate the online learning environment.  The effects have been brutal for some, but with a little teamwork, JROTC and our students will continue to thrive,” he said.

With the collaboration between Naval Science Instructors, cadets, Clarks leadership, and families, Master Chief Ballard hopes to carry out his goals so that the program creates cadets who can leave positive impacts in their communities.

“There are 1,440 minutes in a day.  Take advantage of them.  Time is the most precious asset we have.  When it is lost – it is lost!  If our Cadets and our students can learn to master time, or manage their time appropriately, then they will have developed a skill that most adults struggle with on a daily basis.”

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