Command Sergeant Major Dena D. Ballowe was selected as the Senior Enlisted Leader, Illinois National Guard July 1, 2019. As the State Command Sergeant Major, Sgt. Maj. Ballowe serves as the senior enlisted advisor to the Adjutant General, advising on the training, management, and well-being of the Illinois National Guard’s 13,000 Soldiers and Airmen.
Command Sgt. Maj. Ballowe enlisted in the Army in 1991 as a Material Control and Accounting Specialist. She attended basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and advanced individual training at Fort Lee, Virginia. Command Sgt. Maj. Ballowe deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2007 and to Kuwait in 2014 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Command Sgt. Maj. Ballowe has held multiple leadership positions throughout her career. She has been a Command Sergeant Major since 2016 when she was selected to be the Command Sergeant Major for the 232nd Combat Service Support Battalion. She was most recently selected as the Command Sergeant Major, 6th Battalion, 54th Security Forces Assistance Brigade (SFAB), at Rock Island Arsenal, Rock Island, Illinois.
Command Sgt. Maj. Ballowe’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Achievement Medal (2 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal (1 Silver Oak Leaf Cluster), National Defense Service Medal (1 Service Star), Humanitarian Service Medal (1 Service Star), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal (M Device and Numeral 2),Meritorious Unit Citation Medal 2nd , NCO Professional Development Ribbon (Numeral 4), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (Numeral 4), Iraq Campaign Medal, Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon (Numeral 5), Drivers/Mechanic Badge, and numerous awards and decorations from the Illinois National Guard.
Command Sgt. Maj. Ballowe’s professional education includes an Associate of Science degree in real estate management from American Military University in Charlestown, West Virginia. CSM Ballowe graduated from multiple military courses including the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy; Advanced Noncommissioned Officer Course; Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course and Primary Leadership Development Course.
As of September 2019