LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A 35-year military career serving Arkansas will come to an end at noon on May 6.

A retirement ceremony for Brig. Gen. John O. Payne will be held at the Camp Robinson Education Center’s Militia Hall that day. The retirement marks the end of a career active in the Army and the Arkansas National Guard.

Payne entered the service in May 1988 with a second lieutenant’s commission as an aero-medivac platoon leader. He climbed through the ranks prior to his assignment as Deputy Adjutant General.

Overseas service includes a 1990 deployment to Panama as an aero-medevac platoon leader and a 2011 assignment to Iraq as the 77th Aviation Brigade commander.

The general has multiple military awards including the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster and the Army Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster.

Payne has a bachelor’s degree in aviation from Henderson State, a J.D. from the University of Arkansas Bowen School of Law and a master’s degree from the United States War College.