Major General E. Gray Payne, USMC (retired)


E. Gray Payne, Major General, USMC (Ret) was appointed as Senior Vice President of the Marine Corps Programs Division with The Columbia Group in 2010 following a distinguished career with the United States Marine Corps. His responsibilities include managing customer service and growth initiatives for the company’s Marine Corps and Navy Programs Divisions.

Originally joining the Marine Corps Reserves in 1970, MajGen Payne has over 40 years of military tactical, operational, and strategic expertise alongside significant experience in the private sector. In his last assignment, he served as Assistant Deputy Commandant for Installations and Logistics (Facilities), Headquarters, United States Marine Corps. His command tours as a general officer include Commanding General of Marine Corps Mobilization Command, Marine Corps Logistics Command, and 4th Marine Logistics Group. He also served as Director of CENTCOM Deployment and Distribution Operations in OIF.

In the business world, General Payne has been active in several small to mid-size businesses as a CFO, COO, and CEO providing successful corporate leadership across different industries. His solid track record of analysis, innovation, leadership, and change management, allowed him to significantly improve the operations of many companies including North American Packaging, Inc. where he served as President and CEO for four years until he committed to the Marine Corps full-time in 2001.

General Payne is the past Chairman of the Marine Corps Reserve Policy Board and currently serves as Chairman of the Marine Corps Association’s Board of Governors and Chairman of the Marine Corps Association Foundation Board of Directors. In 2014-2015, he was appointed to and served on the Commonwealth of Virginia Commission on Military Installations and Defense Activities. His personal awards include: the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with two gold stars, and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with gold star.

General Payne received a Master’s of Science in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College, and Bachelor’s of Science in Economics from North Carolina State University.