By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Ceres native Dylan Ball honored as Sailor of the Year
Blues Portrait
Dylan J. Ball, a Ceres High School graduate of 2011, has been named a 2015 Full Time Support Sailor of the Year. He is stationed in Jacksonville, Fla. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Dylan J. Ball, a Ceres High School graduate of 2011, has been named a "2015 Full Time Support Sailor of the Year."

The administrative clerk and regional training petty officer qualified for the national honor as a previous "Sailor of the Year" for the southeast region of the country.

Petty Officer Ball was honored for many things, including his job performance and being a "model Sailor with exceptional military bearing and an impeccable personal appearance," according to his nomination papers.

"He provides superb customer service to 1,800 Sailors in 32 Reserve units spread across seven states, the United Kingdom, Europe, Africa and Puerto Rico," said Navy Commander J.K. Castleberry. "Petty Officer Ball is consistently recognized for his professionalism and for his ability to perform tasks and assume roles normally reserved for higher-ranking Sailors. I routinely challenge him with demanding responsibilities and he consistently excels at every task."

Ball joined the Navy in 2012 and signed up for administrative work, training in Jacksonville, Miss. He was stationed with a supply unit at a base in Jacksonville, Florida, and transferred to the Intelligence Division. His contract called for four years of sevice in active duty and four years in Reserve. Dylan is now in active duty but in the Reserve division of the Navy.

Ball serves as the Regional Suicide Prevention Coordinator and set up a first-ever Regional Suicide Prevention Instruction and Response Plan after a suicide on base. Ball's plan was implemented across the region but is being considered for adoption into future national-level policies.

He is also a Command Fitness Leader, helping Sailors stay physically fit.

In addition, he has participated in community service projects as a volunteer, including putting on a Navy Ball in Jacksonville, emcee for events, as a guide and escort at the Jacksonville Air Show, as a volunteer firefighter and CPR and defibrillator instructor.

"He struggled through school," said his father, Anthony Ball. "He didn't start focusing until he got in the Navy."

"He put together a program for contact information and procedures that was adopted in the whole Navy system," said Anthony Ball.

Ball rose to the rank of E-5 after only two-and-a-half years "which is extremely rare," said his dad.

He also qualified as a Dominance Warfare specialist and an Intelligence specialist.

"I get pretty teary-eyed thinking about it because I'm pretty proud of him."