William H. Payne enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn, NY on July 24, 1968 on the 90 Day Delay Program. He reported for active duty at Fort Hamilton on October 2, 1968 and entered Basic Training at Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Training Depot, South Carolina on October 3, 1968. After graduation in January, 1969 he entered Infantry Training Regiment at Camp Stone’s Bay, Camp Geiger, Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Amphibious Base, North Carolina. Upon completion of infantry training in February, 1969, he was assigned to DPI Camp Lejeune for on-the-job training. In May, 1969, he received orders for counterinsurgency operations in the Republic of Vietnam and in June of that year reported to Camp Las Pulgas, Camp Pendleton, California for jungle training. After completion of that training, he embarked from Marine Corps Air Station El Toro for Danang, Vietnam, via Camp Hansen, Okinawa. Upon arrival in Danang, July, 1969, he was assigned to DPI 17, H&MS 17, MWSG 17, of the 1st Marine Air Wing providing data processing support for aviation operations against VC/NVA forces. During the following year, the Wing participated in four major campaigns; Vietnam Summer-Fall 6/69-10/69, Vietnam Winter-Spring 11/69-4/70, Sanctuary Counteroffensive 5/70-6/70 and Vietnam Counteroffensive Phase VII 7/70-6/71. Unit members were awarded four battle stars to the Vietnam Service Medal and two unit citations from the Republic of Vietnam; the Cross of Gallantry with Palm and the Civic Actions Medal 1st class with Palm.
During his tour in Vietnam, he served additional duty as Rifleman in the Contingency/Reaction Platoon and as Embarkation NCO.
He returned to the continental United States via Kadena, Okinawa in July, 1970 and was released from active duty under honorable conditions at Camp Pendleton, California. He served in the Class III USMC Inactive Reserve until Honorable Discharge July 24, 1974.
On July 28, 1992, he was sworn into the New York Guard with the rank of Captain and served as the Executive Officer, and later as Commanding Officer, of the Internal Security Company at the New York National Guard Armory at Leeds, NY. In March, 1995, he was assigned to be Executive Officer of the ½ 10th BDE. In September of 2006, he was assigned as S-2 and deputy S-3 for the 10th BDE, the position in which he currently serves, along with extra duty assignment as OIC of the IS/SAR detachment at the NYNG Armory in Leeds, NY. He also served in the Emergency Operations Center, DMNA, Latham, NY when activated for TWA 800 in July 1996 and as the OIC of the Search and Rescue School at Camp Smith, Peekskill, NY during AT ’98. He served in the SEMO Center when activated for the ice storm in 1998 and as assistant Security Team leader at the Troy armories when activated after the terrorist attacks on 9/11/01. He took part in the June 2008 JAG support mission for 105th Civic Affairs Battalion mount out to Iraq at the US Army Reserve Center, Syracuse, NY, and in the summer of 2010, the JAG support mission for the sailors deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan through the Naval Support Center in Schenectady, NY.
William Payne was married on June 30, 1974 to the former Anita Ruby of Saugerties, NY. They have two daughters, Susan and Mary and a son, Daniel.