William Blake Payne is a native of Spartanburg, SC, and raised in Houston, TX. He graduated from Spring High School in 1998, and attended Recruit Training at MCRD San Diego, CA in September. After completing MCT, and MOS schools in Pensacola, FL, and Oceana, VA, LCpl Payne checked in to VMFA-312 at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, SC as an Aviation Ordnanceman for the F/A-18 Hornet in June of 1999.
From November 2000 to May 2001 he was attached to CAG-3 aboard the USS Harry S. Truman in support of Operation Southern Watch, and Operation Deliberate Force. LCpl Payne was meritoriously promoted to Cpl on December 2, 2000. Sgt Payne then deployed to Zaragosa, Spain in May 2002 serving as the Ordnance Line Chief in support of Operation Dynamic Mix for a Joint Force exercise. In, August 2003, Sgt Payne attached to CAG-1 aboard the USS Enterprise with VMFA-312. He and his unit were in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iron Hammer until January 2004.
Again with VMFA-312, Sgt Payne deployed to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan in support of the Unit Deployment Program. While on UDP, he also served in Okinawa, Japan, and Osan, South Korea from July 2005 to January 2006. SSgt Payne attended Drill Instructor School at MCRD Parris Island, SC in October 2006. Upon graduation from Drill Instructor School, SSgt Payne attended the Marine Combat Instructor of Water Survival Course (MCIWS) in February 2007. SSgt Payne then performed his duties as a Drill Instructor, and Senior Drill Instructor at 1st RTB, Delta Co from February 2007 to December 2009.
After a successful tour as a Drill Instructor, GySgt Payne was then assigned to be the Ordnance Chief for the Vikings at VMFA(AW)-225 at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, CA in January 2010. A few months later, GySgt Payne deployed with the Vikings to Iwakuni, Japan in support of the Unit Deployment Program until March 2011. In June 2012, GySgt Payne deployed again with the Vikings in support of the Unit Deployment Program where he participated in RIMPAC 2012 and exercise Valiant Shield until January 2013.
GySgt Payne then reported to Officer Candidates School in May of 2013 where he worked 10 training cycles as a Sergeant Instructor, Platoon Sergeant, Company Gunnery Sergeant, and Battalion Drill Master.
Following his promotion to 1stSgt in March 2016, 1stSgt Payne was assigned to 3D Battalion, 6th Marines in Camp Lejeune, NC as the Weapons Company 1stSgt. In February 2017 he deployed aboard the USS Bataan with the 24th MEU and supported Operation Inherent Resolve in northern Syria as the Security Force Company 1stSgt until October. In February of 2019 1stSgt Payne deployed as the India Company 1stSgt on UDP 19.1 participating in Exercise Balikatan and Fuji Viper.
In July 2020, SgtMaj Payne received orders to serve as the Battalion Sergeant Major of CLB-451 in Charlotte, NC.
SgtMaj Payne’s personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal with Gold Star in lieu of second award and Navy Achievement Medal with Gold Star in lieu of second award.