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After 35 years of service, the Deputy Adjutant General of the Arkansas National Guard is preparing to retire



Little Rock, Arkansas – On May 6 at noon, a military career that spanned 35 years and was dedicated to serving Arkansas will come to an end.

On that day, there will be a ceremony honoring Brigadier General John O. Payne’s retirement that will take place at the Militia Hall of the Camp Robinson Education Center. The decision to retire brings an end to a long and distinguished career in both the Army and the Arkansas National Guard.

Payne joined the military in May of 1988, receiving a commission as a second lieutenant and taking on the role of an aero-medivac platoon leader. Before being promoted to the position of Deputy Adjutant General, he worked his way up through the ranks.

His overseas experience includes an assignment to Panama in the year 1990 as an aero-medevac platoon leader, as well as an assignment to Iraq in the year 2011 as the commander of the 77th Aviation Brigade.

The general has been honored with a number of different military decorations, including the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, and the Army Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster.

Payne earned his bachelor’s degree in aviation from Henderson State University, his Juris doctor from the University of Arkansas Bowen School of Law, and his master’s degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

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