Homecoming for new commander

by Mike Isle

Burnham Military Camp has a new commander, and it is very much a case of a return home for Captain Grant Payton whose family has long links with the military in Selwyn.

Both of Captain Payton’s parents were stationed in Wigram with the Royal New Zealand Air Force, and Grant has previously served as a non-commissioned officer (NCO) and regimental sergeant major (RSM) at Burnham.

It was while in the latter role that Grant and Donna decided Selwyn was where they wanted to live.

“We loved the lifestyle back in the South Island and decided to make Selwyn our permanent home. 

“The requirements of the army meant that we have had to move away from ‘home’ on a number of occasions.

“However, I am enjoying being back in a relaxed environment where there is a community feel you sometimes don’t find in a big city. Donna and I enjoy heading to wineries, walking our dog and working around our house, which we have just built in Rolleston,” he said.

Previously the pair had been stationed in Northland, where Grant served as RSM of the 3rd Auckland Northland Battalion. He also served at the Trade Training School, and was deployed to the United States, where he attended the United States’ Major Academy Sergeant Major’s Course. He then returned to New Zealand and an appointment as command warrant officer of the Defence Logistics Command.

He was also deployed operationally overseas, serving in East Timor in 2002.

Grant was appointed the Camp Commander of Burnham in December last year.