Following his graduation in 1907, Ingram served in several battleships, cruisers and destroyers. As turret officer of the battleship Arkansas (BB-33), he established a world's record for firing 12-inch (305 mm) guns. On April 22, 1914 he landed at Veracruz, Mexico with the Arkansas battalion and was later received the Medal of Honor for "distinguished conduct in battle" and "skillful and efficient handling of the artillery and machine guns".
World War I and interwar years
Ingram served as head football coach at the Naval Academy from 1915 to 1917. During World War I he was awarded the Navy Cross for his services on the staff of Rear Admiral Hugh Rodman Commander, Division Nine, Battle Force, Atlantic Fleet.
Earning the rank of Commander in 1924, he became the commanding officer of the destroyer Stoddert (DD-302) before returning to the U.S. Naval Academy to serve as both athletic director and football director from 1926 to 1930.
Ingram moved on to command the battleship Pennsylvania (BB-38) for a period of time after that, before serving as Officer-in-Charge of the Public Relations Branch.
Prior to his promotion to Captain in 1935, Ingram served as an aide to the Secretary of the Navy, then returned to the sea as commander of Destroyer Squadron Six. Ashore, he was Captain of the Yard, New York Navy Yard in Brooklyn, New York before returning to sea, in command of the battleship Tennessee (BB-43).