Ballinger thrives in Navy

Cody Ballinger

NEWPORT, R.I. - Petty Officer Second Class Cody Ballinger, a native of Sligo, joined the Navy for the opportunities the military offers.

"I wanted to travel the world and do something different than the people I grew up with who took the traditional college route," said Ballinger.

Now, nine years later, Ballinger serves as a master-at-arms at Naval Station (NAVSTA) Newport, located in Newport, R.I.

A master-at-arms, such as Ballinger, provides waterborne and land security, aircraft and flight line security, strategic weapons and cargo security, maritime security and platform protection.

Growing up in Sligo, Ballinger attended Union High School and graduated in 2011. Today, Ballinger uses the same skills and values learned in Sligo to succeed in the military.

"I learned the importance of hard work from my hometown," said Ballinger. "My family always told me that hard work pays off in the end, and I took that to heart. I worked for everything I've ever had. I've earned what I've got. That value has benefited me as a sailor and helped me move up the ranks."

That value currently helps Ballinger while serving at NAVSTA Newport.

Home to 50 Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and U.S. Army Reserve commands and activities, NAVSTA Newport's mission is to fulfill the diverse requirements of its tenant commands by providing the facilities and infrastructure that are essential to their optimum performance.

With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent of the world's international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.

Serving as a sailor and contributing to the Navy the nation needs and requires a combination of dedication and sacrifice, but Ballinger believes the accomplishments achieved along the way make the hard work worth it.

"My greatest accomplishment has been helping new sailors build a community," said Ballinger. "The Navy does important work and as a leader, I can do more than simply make sure that the work gets done. I also help foster relationships and teach young sailors the importance of building camaraderie and friendships.

"That is something that needs to start at the leadership level and be taught by setting a good example. I've had the opportunity to see this work out firsthand and it's something I'm very proud of."

As Ballinger and other sailors continue to train, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.

"The Navy is a community," added Ballinger. "I look forward to continuing to contribute to that community and help improve it as time goes on. The greater the relationships of sailors means we can all focus on what's most important, keeping our nation safe."