Charles Payne

Deputy Commandant of Cadets

Lieutenant Colonel Charles T. Payne is Deputy Commandant of Cadets for Third Battalion.

Lieutenant Colonel Payne joined the U. S. Army in July 1973. Upon completion of Basic Training, Advanced Individual Training, and Airborne School, he reported to the 82nd Airborne Division as a private in December. During his seven years as an enlisted soldier, Colonel Payne served as a mortarman in the 1st and 3rd Battalions, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, as a gunner in H Company, 3rd Infantry (The Old Guard), and as a Drill Sergeant at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

Upon graduation and commissioning from Officer Candidate School in August 1980, and attendance at the Infantry Officer's Basic Course and Ranger School, Colonel Payne reported to the 2nd Battalion, 325th Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division, where he served as Heavy Mortar Platoon Leader, Rifle Platoon Leader, Battalion Mortar Officer, and Company Executive Officer. In November 1985, he was assigned to Europe and spent three years with the Berlin Brigade, where he served as Battalion S3 Air and Company Commander. After command, he attended graduate school for two years, whereupon he taught military history at the U. S. Military Academy from 1990 to 1993.

His next assignment was with the U. S. Army Special Operations Command, where he served as Deputy Chief of Current Operations. Afterward, Colonel Payne's next three years were spent in the 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, where he served as Brigade Logistics Officer, Battalion Executive Officer, and Brigade Executive Officer. In 1997, he was assigned as the Professor of Military Science at Oklahoma State University. Lieutenant Colonel Payne's last active duty Army assignment was in the Pentagon, where he served on the Army staff as a resource analyst. He retired at the grade of LTC after 28 years of service in July 2001 and was selected as Deputy Commandant for the 3rd Battalion with duty beginning 1 July 2001.

Lieutenant Colonel Payne holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Sciences from Campbell University and a Master of Arts Degree in History from the University of Georgia.

His awards and decorations include the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the Master Parachutist Badge, the Ranger Tab, the Pathfinder Badge, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, and the Meritorious Service Medal.

Lieutenant Colonel Payne is married to the former Rosemarie Mazzoni, of Toms River, NJ, and has four children: Jason, Jennifer, Meghan, and Joshua.

Professional Affiliations:

Lieutenant Colonel Payne is an active member of the Society for Military History.