by Monica Mendoza
21st Space Wing Public Affairs Staff Writer
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Chief Master Sgt. Thomas Trottier, the new 21st Space Wing command chief, likes rock music and hockey.
He’s from Vermont, home to “Green Mountain Boys” – the informal name of the Vermont National Guard – and he just celebrated his 24th wedding anniversary with his wife.
“We were a tech school romance,” he told Airmen at the Dec. 14 commander’s call at the Peterson Air Force Base auditorium, “they never work out,” he said getting a huge laugh. “I expect it to end any day now,” he added in jest.
Chief Trottier was named the 21st Space Wing command chief in November. He entered the Air Force in 1985 and his assignments have taken him to Texas, England, Florida and South Dakota. During his introduction to the wing, Chief Trottier wanted to impress on Airmen that, “I’m no different,” he said. “I’m fortunate enough to have been picked for this job,” he said. “But, I’m them. I’ve always been them.”
In 1999, he took an assignment as Airman Leadership School Flight chief at Ellsworth AFB, S.D. It was the first time he realized his reach as a nonommissioned officer.
“Prior to that, I always considered myself a good NCO, but I really didn’t get the big picture,” he said. “When I went to Ellsworth, that is when my eyes opened. Now, I was seeing the bigger Air Force. Now, I was having a bigger affect.”
Chief Trottier is no stranger to Peterson Air Force Base. Since 2004, he has served as the 21st Dental Squadron dental clinic superintendent, and performed duties as the Air Force Space Command’s dental functional manager, Area Dental Laboratory superintendent, dental squadron superintendent and 21st Medical Group superintendent.
He knows he’s in a great wing because people in the community tell him. And he lives by the personal rule that he would never ask an Airman to do something he wouldn’t do himself.
As command chief, he advises Col. Stephen N. Whiting, 21st SW commander, on issues affecting the health, welfare, morale and utilization of an enlisted force of 3,200 personnel. In addition, he observes all facets of the work, social and living environment of the enlisted force.
During the commander’s call he shared a few details about himself.
If you were to pick up Chief Trottier’s MP3 player, you would find it loaded with the music of AC/DC, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, Cheap Trick, Dio, Iron Maiden and Cyndi Lauper? No, not Cyndi, he joked.
He is the fifth of six children. His father, who is 93 and a World War II veteran, is his hero. He has two sons, one who plays classical guitar at the University of Colorado at Boulder but, “doesn’t play a song that I know,” he said. “I ask him, ‘Do you know some Ozzy?’ He doesn’t.”
Chief Trottier enjoys reading military history and loves to jog in the morning, but hates getting out of bed to do it. His favorite movie is “Tommy Boy” and he is a New England sports fan.
But, what you really need to know about Chief Trottier is that he enjoys the company of the people he is with. He loves to play hard and work hard and gets annoyed by people who just play hard and play hard, he said.
He wants every experience to be a learning one, even if that experience is bad, he said. And, he believes there is no more important job as a noncommissioned officer than overseeing the professional and personal growth of Airmen.
“I believe everything you do matters,” he told Airmen. “That is what makes this the best space wing in the Air Force.”