109AW welcomes new command chief

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Madison Scaringe
  • 109th Airlift Wing

 Command Chief Master Sgt. Karolyn De Vito, a Cohoes resident, took over as the senior enlisted leader for the New York Air National Guard’s 109th Airlift Wing during an August 5, 2023, ceremony at Stratton Air National Guard base in Scotia.

In this role, De Vito serves as the key enlisted advisor to the wing commander, Col. Christian Sander. 

“Chief De Vito has the right balance between being tough, confident, respectable and personable enough to truly connect with the Airmen of the 109th,” Sander said.

De Vito replaced Command Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Trottier, who lives in Lake Luzerne.

Trottier, who has served as the wing command chief since 2021, retired after 30 years in the Air Force.

De Vito, the unit’s 12th command chief, said she was honored to be entrusted with such a vital role within the unit.

In her remarks, she said that change in the military is inevitable, and that an Airman’s personal experience and attitude can dictate how that change is experienced.

“Attitude is a choice that can either propel us forward or hold us back,” De Vito said.

“It is the driving force behind our actions, and the foundation of our character. As Command Chief, I challenge each and every one of you to choose a positive attitude, to embrace change with open arms and to be the change you wish to see in our Air Force,” she said.

De Vito joined the 109th’s 139th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron as an aeromedical evacuation technician in 1997.

Since then, she has completed deployments to Kuwait, Qatar, Greenland, Germany and Antarctica, and taken part in federal mobilizations in response to Hurricanes Katrina and Irene.

De Vito served as the 109th Medical Group’s superintendent from 2017 —2020.

In his remarks, Sander praised both De Vito and Trottier.

Sander, Commander of the 109th Airlift Wing, spoke highly of both outgoing and incoming leaders. 

The example of the senior enlisted leader sets the tone for the entire unit, Sander emphasized.

“The rank of Chief is not given out easily here. You have to earn it, live it and be involved in all aspects of the unit. You both have proven to be worthy of the Command Chief title,” Sander said. 

Trottier enlisted in 1980 as a signals intelligence traffic analysis technician and served four years at Fort Meade, Maryland before leaving active-duty Air Force.

In 1998, he joined the New York Air National Guard as an intelligence analyst with the 109th Airlift Wing. 

During his service, Trottier deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and Guam.

In 2016, he became the 109th Operations Group Superintendent, mentoring and providing leadership to the group’s Airmen.

During his retirement ceremony, Trottier said that serving as the command chief was a great capstone to his career.  

“My time as the Command Chief of the 109th Airlift Wing has been nothing but remarkable,” he said.

"Our Airmen here are truly the best and always find a way to get the mission done. Chief De Vito has a lot of weight to bear, but I have full confidence in her ability to lead and care for our people,” Trottier said.

The men and women of the 109th Airlift Wing fly the LC-130, which is the largest aircraft in the world equipped with skies to land on snow and ice. The wing supports science research in Antarctic and Greenland as well as military operations in the Arctic.