Matthew Payne


Lieutenant Colonel

Matthew C. Payne


Senior Army Instructor for Bedford County Army Junior ROTC

Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Payne was born in Fredericksburg, Virginia and grew up in Stafford County on the banks of the Aquia Creek in a converted fishing shanty.  He spent his youth in pursuit of outdoor activities, seeing to academic endeavors as infrequently as possible.  Educated at the Virginia Military Institute he obtained a degree in History, a natural fit for a son of the Commonwealth reared amongst the vestiges of Native American, Colonial, and Civil War Virginia. 

Upon graduation Matthew was commissioned into the US Army Field Artillery as a Second Lieutenant.  Matthew progressed well in the Army, finally obtaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in November 2011.  Notable moments in this progression were his marriage in 1998 to the former Mary Catherine Sullivan of Greenville, Illinois and the births of their eight children: Carmen, Rosa, John, Anna, Joseph, Thomas, Ronald, and Mary Teresa.  Also of note are his exemplary grades in the Artillery Officer Advance Course and the Command and General Staff Officer course, as well as his Masters Degree in Military History, reversing his prior trend of educational mediocrity.  Matthew’s participation in the invasion of Iraq in 2003 made him universally, albeit briefly renowned on Nippon Television in Tokyo Japan.  He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for this action.  Matthew was awarded two additional Bronze Stars for service in Iraq and Afghanistan.  He was presented with the Department of State Meritorious Honor Award, the Combat Action Badge, and numerous other awards for achievement and service.  Matthew’s overseas assignments include Korea, Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan with layovers in countries too numerous to list here.  His stateside assignments were in Oklahoma, Georgia, Virginia, and Kansas. 

Having finally exhausted the patience of his superiors in the Army, Matthew retired on the 1st of October 2017 and secured employment in the Bedford County Public School System.  While probably best suited for placement in jobs performing automotive maintenance or household repairs (thanks to his eight children) he is keen to continue working in education.  As an instructor at the Command and General Staff College his last four years in the Army, he assisted officers from all branches of the Armed Forces as well as officers from Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas in gaining the skills they needed to become senior leaders in their nation’s military.  An Army certified instructor and trained curriculum developer, he was selected for promotion to academic rank of Assistant Professor by the Dean of the Command and General Staff College.  Matthew’s interests still include hunting, fishing, and mechanic work to which he has added child rearing with an emphasis on repeating himself and waking in the night.  His duties as Senior Army Instructor for JROTC and service in his Church account for the remainder of his free time.