Master Sergeant, US Army (Retired)
Jennifer R. Ballou is originally from Mentor, Ohio, and is the oldest of six children. In June of 1994, three weeks after her high school graduation, she enlisted in the United States Army as a Dental Assistant. Jennifer served for almost 21 years, retiring in May 2015. She held numerous leadership positions throughout her Army career, culminating as the Senior Enlisted Advisor of the United States Army Resilience Directorate, Army G1, Pentagon. She also served as the first Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Program Manager, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and as First Sergeant, 257th Dental Company (Area Support), 44th Medical Brigade, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. It was during this assignment, while deployed to Afghanistan, that her husband, SSG Edwardo Loredo, was Killed in Action.
Throughout her military career, Jennifer graduated from numerous military courses, to include the Master Resilience Assistant Primary Instructor Course, Basic Airborne School, Battle Staff NCO Course, Instructor Training Course and many others. Additional professional achievements include induction into the Order of Medical Military Merit, membership in the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club, and 2002 Europe Regional Dental Command NCO of the Year.
Jennifer’s awards and decorations include the Secretary of the Army Public Service Award, the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with bronze oak leaf cluster and numerous others. She also earned the Expert Field Medical Badge, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and is an alumni of the 2022 Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program, through the President George W. Bush Presidential Center.
Jennifer currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff for the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus, Ohio. Additionally, she is a Certified Professional Life Coach, a 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher, specializing in trauma-sensitive, therapeutic and adaptive yoga, and a Warriors at Ease Faculty Member.
Jennifer is the wife of Omari Ballou, Command Sergeant Major, US Army Retired, and is the proud mother of Alexis, Eddie and Sophia.