LTC (Retired) L. Kenneth Payne is the JROTC Senior Army Instructor at Riverside Military Academy. He retired after his final deployment as the Commanders of the 2nd BN, 121 Infantry Regiment (Light), 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the Georgia Army National Guard, based in Griffin, GA.
LTC Payne graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. He commissioned as an Armor Officer through ROTC in 1987. His military education includes Airborne School, Armor Officer Basic Course, Armor Officer Advanced Course, Calvary Fighting Vehicle Commanders Course, Maneuver Captains Career Course, Combined Arms and Staff Service School, Command and General Staff College, Intermediate Level Education (ILE), and the Infantry Pre-Command Course. He has also completed the Human Resources Management Course and the Six Sigma Black Belt Business Management Course.
Prior to this assignment, LTC Payne served as Executive Officer, 348th SPT BN, Cumming, GA. LTC Payne also served as Executive Officer, 1st BN, 108th AR BN (Task Force Roughrider) while deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has held a number of other key command and staff positions.
LTC Payne has also served as an Armor Platoon Leader, Scout Platoon Leader, Assistant Professor of Military Science, North Georgia Military College.
LTC Payne’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (two), Meritorious Service Medal (with 4 oak leaf clusters (OLC)), Army Commendation Medal (w/ OLC), Army Achievement Medal (w/ 2 OLC), Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (w/ 5 OLC), National Defense Service Medal (w/ campaign star), Combat Infantry Badge, Combat Action Badge, Parachutist Badge, Driver’s Badge, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal (w/ hourglass and M Device), Army Service Ribbon, and Overseas Service Ribbon (w/ numeral 2). He has also received the Order of Saint Maurice and Order of Saint George. His state awards include the Georgia Meritorious Service Medal, Georgia Commendation Medal, Georgia Service Medal (w/ boars head), Georgia Special Operations Ribbon (w/ boars head), and Georgia National Guard Retention and Recruiting Ribbon.
LTC Payne is married to Teresa Payne, with three children, Jana, Sarah-Anne, and Bo. He is a member of Dahlonega Baptist Church.