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Maj. Gen. Lee E. Payne is the Assistant Director for Combat Support, Defense Health Agency. The DHA is a Combat Support Agency providing support to Combatant Commanders and enabling the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps medical services to provide a medically ready force and ready medical force. In addition to the ten joint Enterprise Support Activities supporting an integrated health delivery system, the DHA administers the TRICARE Health Plan providing worldwide medical, dental and pharmacy programs to more than 9.5 million uniformed service members, retirees and their families. General Payne is responsible for coordinating the Agency’s Combat Support functions to include supporting operating forces engaged in planning for or conducting military operations, or in the conduct of other military activities related to countering threats to U.S. national security. His responsibilities include oversight and supervision of the activities in support of the Joint Staff and the Combatant Commands including Public Health, Medical Logistics, Armed Forces Blood Program, Armed Forces Medical Examiner, Readiness and Emergency Operations, Force Readiness programs and the Joint Trauma System. General Payne also serves as the MHS Electronic Health Record Functional Champion for the DHA. The Functional Champion is responsible for oversight of the Office of the Chief Medical Informatics Office, and for ensuring the success of the new EHR. These responsibilities span the entire MHS enterprise for all military treatment facilities and clinics in all roles of care in the operational and garrison environments from point of injury, primary care, theater hospitalization, to the home front. The MHS Functional Champion provides a single voice at the executive level to lead the entire business transformation process and support provider buy-in for the MHS Genesis EHR.

General Payne received his commission from the ROTC graduating with high distinction from the University of Kentucky in 1979. He earned his medical degree from Vanderbilt Medical School, completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Colorado and a year of medical oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst Isenberg School of Management. General Payne is a Chief Physician, Chief Flight Surgeon, and is board certified in emergency medicine and internal medicine. During his career, General Payne has commanded at the squadron level, three times as a Medical Group Commander including a Medical Center Command, served as a Major Command Surgeon three times, and as the Commander of the Air Force Medical Operations Agency.

Prior to his current position, General Payne served as the Command Surgeon, Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.

1979 Bachelor of Science, Zoology, University of Kentucky, Lexington
1983 Doctor of Medicine, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.
1984 Internal Medicine Internship, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver
1986 Internal Medicine Residency, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver
1987 Hematology/Oncology Fellowship, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York
1996 Aerospace Medicine Primary Course, Brooks Air Force Base, Texas
1997 Air Command & Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1998 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2012 Master in Business Administration, University of Massachusetts Amherst Isenberg School of Management, Amherst


1. June 1987–June 1992, Staff Emergency Physician, Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, Wash.
2. June 1992–October 1995, Staff Emergency Physician; Chief, Division of Acute Care and Deputy Director of Professional Services, Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas
3. October 1995–April 1997, Chief of Clinical Medicine Branch, Directorate of Medical Services and Training, Headquarters Air Education and Training Command, Randolph AFB, Texas
4. April 1997–June 1999, Commander, 325th Medical Operations Squadron, Tyndall AFB Fla.
5. June 1999–June 2001, Deputy Commander, 31st Medical Group, Aviano Air Base, Italy
6. June 2001–July 2003, Commander, 39th Medical Group, Incirlik AB, Turkey
7. July 2003–April 2005, Commander, 31st Medical Group, Aviano AB, Italy
8. April 2005–July 2006, Command Surgeon of U.S. Air Forces Central Command, Shaw AFB, S.C.
9. July 2006–August 2009, Commander, 60th Medical Group, David Grant U.S. Air Force Medical Center, Travis AFB, Calif.
10. August 2009–May 2012, Command Surgeon, Headquarters Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB, Colo.
11. May 2012–August 2014, Deputy Assistant Surgeon General, Health Care Operations, Office of the Air Force Surgeon General, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
12. August 2014–May 2016, Commander, Air Force Medical Operations Agency, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas
13. June 2016 – June 2018, Command Surgeon, Headquarters Air Mobility Command, Scott AFB, Ill.
14. June 2018 – present, Assistant Director for Combat Support, Defense Health Agency, Falls Church, Va.

Rating:  chief Flight Surgeon
Flying hours:  more than 750
Aircraft:  KC-10, C-130, C-17, F-15, F-16, E-3, KC-135, T-37, T-38 and T-43.


Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster

Fellow American College of Emergency Physicians
Fellow American College of Healthcare Executives
Fellow American Association for Physician Leadership
Fellow American College of Physicians
Certified Physician Executive

Second Lieutenant May 12, 1979
First Lieutenant April 29, 1982
Captain May 14, 1983
Major May 14, 1989
Lieutenant Colonel May 14, 1995
Colonel May 14, 2001
Brigadier General Sept. 2, 2014
Major General June 4, 2018

(Current as of February 2019)


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