(Photo by SGT Youmans)
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CSM Payton is a native of Grenada, Mississippi. He enlisted into the U.S. Army 27 August 1986. He graduated the Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training Courses at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where he was awarded the 13F Military Occupational Skill. He graduated from the Sergeant’s Major Course in June 2006, and was promoted to Sergeant Major shortly after on 1 January 2007. During his service in the U.S. Army, he has been privileged to serve in numerous command and staff, and leadership positions throughout the world including Panama (1995-1996), Afghanistan (2007), Iraq (2004, 2007, 2008-2009), Japan (2012-2014), and the Pentagon (2014-2016).
As a Sergeant Major, he served as a CJ35 and Fires and Effects Sergeant Major 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C. and Afghanistan. He then served as the Command Sergeant Major, 1st Battalion, 319th Field Artillery, Fort Bragg, N.C. and Iraq. His next position was the Command Sergeant Major, 18th Fires Brigade (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C. He then served as Command Sergeant Major, Headquarters, U.S. Army Japan, Camp Zama, Japan, followed by his role as Sergeant Major, Headquarters Department of the Army, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G3/5/7 Operations and Plans at the Pentagon. He currently serves as the Command Sergeant Major for United Nations Command/ ROK-U.S. Combined Force Command/ United States Forces Korea.
CSM Payton has attended all levels of the Noncommissioned Officer Education System. Other courses attended include the Battle Staff Course, U.S. Air Force Airlift Planner Course, Transport Dangerous Cargo Course, Naval Gunfire Spotters Course, Joint Firepower Controllers Course, Jumpmaster Course, and Airborne School. He is a graduate of the National Defense University’s Keystone Course, attended the Army War College Senior Leader Symposium and holds a BS in liberal Arts from Excelsior College.
CSM Payton’s awards and decorations include the Army Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit (1OLC), Bronze Star Medal (2 OLC) Meritorious Service Medal (2 OLC), Army Commendation Medal (2 OLC), Army Achievement Medal (6 OLC), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal (10th award) National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal (1 CS) , Iraq Campaign Medal (1 CS), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (numeral 4), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with Arrowhead Device, Kuwait Liberation Medal-Saudi Arabia, Kuwait Liberation Medal-Kuwait, Combat Action Badge, Master Parachutist Badge with Bronze Star, Parachutist Badge with Bronze Service Star, and the Parachutist Badge.