Charles Payne

Deputy Commandant of Cadets

Lieutenant Colonel Charles T. Payne is deputy commandant of cadets for 3rd Battalion.

LTC Payne joined the U. S. Army in 1973. Upon completion of Basic Training, Advanced Individual Training, and Airborne School, he reported to the 82nd Airborne Division as a private. During his seven years as an enlisted soldier, he 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 1980 and attendance at the Infantry Officer's Basic Course and Ranger School, LTC 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 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 and then  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, LTC 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 pofessor of military science at Oklahoma State University. LTC Payne's last active duty Army assignment was in the Pentagon, where he served on the Army staff as a resource analyst. He retired after 28 years of service in 2001 and was selected as deputy commandant for the 3rd Battalion with duty beginning July 1, 2001.

LTC Payne holds a bachelor's degree in social sciences from Campbell University and a master's 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.

LTC Payne is married to the former Rosemarie Mazzoni of Toms River, New Jersey, and has four children: Jason, Jennifer, Meghan, and Joshua.

He is an active member of the Society for Military History.