Charles Payne, a FOX Business Network contributor, said his time spent at Minot Air Force Base as a missile security forces member had an impact on his life and what he has become today.
Payne, a successful entrepreneur, will have his own show, "Making Money With Charles Payne," on the FOX Business News Network, a financial news channel, starting Monday, June 2. It airs locally at 5 p.m.
After going through basic training and security forces training at Lackland AFB in Texas, Payne said he was sent to Minot AFB, his first military assignment, arriving here in spring 1981.
Charles Payne was a missile security forces member at Minot Air Force Base in the 1980s and says that time had an impact on his life. His own show, “Making Money With Charles Payne,” starts Monday on FOX Business News Network.
He remembers when he arrived at Minot AFB, when he was handed out his gear that it included heavy socks and heavy boots. "And then they said, 'Here are the boots.' I knew I was in trouble then," he said with a laugh, since North Dakota is notorious for having harsh winter months and he had not experienced such a winter yet.
Assigned to missile security forces, Payne's job included going to the Minot missile field and spending three days and three nights there.
Minot AFB's missile security forces provide security for 15 missile alert facilities that oversee 150 intercontinental ballistic missiles in the Minot missile field. The missiles are ready to launch against targets directed by the president. Each of the 15 missile alert facilities is in command of 15 launch facilities where the ICBMs are located.
During the missile security forces down time in the field, Payne said he could only play so much Uno and other games available to those at the missile alert facility. He started reading the news magazines at the missile alert facility and became a proficient reader, taking in as much information as he could.
"My big goal of being in the military was getting an education," Payne said.
Payne, who lived in the barracks at the Minot base, also attended Minot State University, taking classes the college offered on base. He also attended Central Texas College while in the Air Force.
Payne, who was born in New York, spent part of his early years growing up on Army bases. "I spent the first half of my childhood as an Army brat," he said. The family lived in various places stateside and overseas. Then he and his mother and family lived in Harlem in New York City.
Payne signed up for the Air Force when he was 17. The Air Force seemed to be a better branch for him.
Payne's first Air Force assignment Minot AFB began in spring 1981. He remained at Minot AFB until late 1982 when he had a new assignment to Guam.
When he got out of the Air Force he headed for Wall Street and began knocking on doors. He was hired at E.F. Hutton as an analyst in 1985. His career was off to its start.
He said if someone checked the employees list, his name would have been at the bottom. "But I was in," he said. At E.F. Hutton, he discovered if he asked questions there was always someone who was willing to give him information.
Payne founded Wall Street Strategies, an independent stock market research firm, in 1991, and is its chief executive officer and principal analyst. His first book, "Be Smart, Act Fast, Get Rich," was published in 2007. He joined FOX Business Network as a contributor in 2007 and frequently appears across the network and FOX News Channel.
Reflecting back to his days spent as a young airman at Minot Air Force Base and to where he is today, he believes that people can make their dreams and goals come true.
He said he keeps up on the energy developments and other changes going on in North Dakota. "I think it's a godsend, I really do," he said.