Zautner assumes command of 109th Medical Group

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. William Gizara
  • 109th AW Public Affairs

Lt. Col. Janice Zautner assumed command of the 109th Medical Group during a change of command ceremony here Feb. 7.

Zautner, previous 139th Aeromedical Squadron flight nurse, assumed command from Col. Douglas Cromack in a ceremony officiated by Col. Shawn Clouthier, 109th Airlift Wing commander. Changes of command are a military tradition representing the transfer of responsibilities from the presiding official to the upcoming official.

"I look forward to Lt Col Zautner joining my team of group commanders," Clouthier said.  "She brings an impressive resume with a broad range of professional experiences to the 109th MDG.  She will bring a fresh, innovative approach in leading the Medical Group into the future."

Cromack, a 42-year veteran, came to the 109th Medical Group in 2005 and is the State Air Surgeon. He became the 109th MDG commander in November 2014.

"To the 109th Medical Group staff, you've made it easy and possible to keep things going," Cromack said. "For the traditional members of the group, thank you very much. You really represent the whole concept of the citizen solider. Coming in on your weekends and basically raising your hand many years ago to be a member of the Guard."

Zautner started her career in the Air Force in 1983. She joined the New York Air National Guard in 1985 as an Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron technician, then got her nursing degree and commission in 1992.

Along with co-workers, friends and family in attendance, Zautner's son, Airman Glenn Zautner, was able to watch the ceremony live as he streamed in on his iPhone. He is currently attending F-16 Armament Maintenance technical school at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas.

"You don't get here by yourself," Zautner said to the audience. "It takes a village of people to get to this point of your career. Thank you for having the faith in me and my abilities and selecting me in this group commander position. To my aeromed family, I've learned so many life lessons over the 30-plus years with you.

"We've been through a lot together; deployments, everyday life and what we have done is stand strong and support one another as a family. And to the 109th Medical Group, thank you for having me as part of your family now. We have a great team. We are set to face the new challenges, and I know we will be successful. I am very excited to be here and look forward to this opportunity."