Fort Leonard Wood drill sergeant is Army’s rising star Print E-mail
Wednesday, 18 December 2013
Sgt. Christiana Ball, center, won the U.S. Army’s 2013 Rising Star. Ball, a drill sergeant with Company B, 787th Military Police Battalion, also won the Fort Leonard Wood competition. Courtesy photo.
By Robert Dozier
U.S. Army Installation  Management Command

F ort Leonard Wood’s own, Sgt. Christiana Ball is Army Entertainment’s 2013 Rising Star.  

Ball is a drill sergeant with Company B, 787th Military Police Battalion, and was chosen from a field of 12 vocalists from Army garrisons around the world.  

She edged out Family members Joyce Severino from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, and Sarah Hopkins from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., in the final round of competition.  

“I want to thank everybody who voted for me.  I’ve had just untold amounts of support from my Family, people at my installation, my unit, the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, the VFW,” Ball said. “Just tons of people, that is what is overwhelming me — the amount of support and love I’ve received.  And the judges, you all are great. Thank you.”

Operation Rising Star gives performers an opportunity to entertain their comrades around the world and fulfill personal musical ambitions.   

Each round of the competition was recorded and was made available online for viewing.   

The competitors were mentored and judged by professionals in the industry.  

“I feel honored and humbled,” Ball said.  “Right now, my husband and I are going to celebrate a little, but soon it will be time to get back to the drill. My team back home needs me.”

Ball was one of seven finalists from garrisons in the continental U.S.   

The other six included Hopkins and Severino as well as Family member Charrie Mae Riggs from Fort Campbell, Ky., 2nd Lt. Derrick Bishop from Fort Irwin, Calif., Sgt. Scott Harris from the Presidio of Monterey, Calif., and Pvt. 1st Class Kiari Mhoon from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

Finalists from overseas garrisons included Sgt. Oscar Bugarin from Camp Lomonnier, Djibouti, Spc. Ikilya Davenport from Camp Humphreys, S. Korea, and from Germany, 1st Lt. Matthew Gabriel from Wiesbaden and Family members Christina Lewis from Kaiserslautern and Raquel Sargent from Stuttgart.

All performances are available online at More information about Operation Rising Star, the contestants and how to view the finals can be found at  

(Editor’s note: Melissa Buckley, GUIDON photojournalist, contributed to this story.)
Last Updated ( Thursday, 09 January 2014 )