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NCDOC Sailor Wins Copernicus Award Second Year in a Row
By CTN2 Collin Sinclair, NCDOC Public Affairs
Lt. Daniel M. Ballance, a Naval Officer stationed at Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command (NCDOC), was nominated last month to receive the prestigious Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) Copernicus Award. This is the second year in a row that a Sailor from NCDOC has been nominated and won this award.
Last summer, fellow Sailor CTN1 Young won the Copernicus Award, the first for NCDOC, and flew out to AFCEA West 2017 in San Diego to accept it.
The nomination, according to Ballance in an interview, came as a surprise. “I did not know that I had been nominated, so when I found out I had been selected, I was definitely caught off guard.” Ballance said.
Ballance went on to explain that it was meaningful to him that his fellow Sailors thought he was competitive enough for this award. A submission for Ballance was written up and sent to the AFCEA by Lt. Cmdr. Jon Wende.
According to Wende, it was intentional to keep the nomination a secret from Ballance. “Dan is a humble person and would have tried to talk me out of it. Also, I feel it's my job as someone in a senior position to submit someone when I recognize their worthiness,” said Wende.
Ballance’s highly technical skills and abilities, and his ability to communicate those skills with people on the Executive level, are things that aided in Wende’s nomination of him.
“There are very few folks who can talk extremely technical, make the connections to operations, and then relay all of that to Executive level leadership in a clear and concise manner. Dan has all of that,” said Wende.
The Copernicus Award is awarded to individuals who show a sustained superior performance in a C4I/IT related job. The award itself was established in 1997 and was named after the Copernicus Architecture that was used as the blueprint for the future C4I structure of the Navy.
For more information about the award or of the AFCEA, please visit their website at