CW5 Steven F. Skoda

29 April 1966 – 20 January 2021

C Co, 1-171 NY Dustoff

Johnstown, New York

CW5 Steven F. Skoda lost his life on January 21, 202, when his UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed while on a New York National Guard routine training mission.

Steve grew up in Johnstown, New York where he enjoyed and treasured life in the foothills of the Adirondacks; from his paper routes’ to lifeguarding, football, canoeing, and camping. His adventurous spirit and sense of duty brought him to an Army base in Alaska where his career of service began. At the end of his first tour, he pursued collegiate studies in communications, public policy, and engineering. Determined to become a helicopter pilot, Steve then enlisted in the Army National Guard.

Steve was a 35-year veteran of the U.S. Army and New York Army National Guard. His military helicopter pilot career took root when he learned to fly UH-1 helicopters in Rochester’s Army Aviation Support Facility in 1992, then followed on to New York’s Army National Guard’s C Company 1-171, in the same town. He was fascinated to always learn more and become skilled in all aspects and possibilities of his profession. Steve’s work with the guard took him on two tours to Afghanistan, where he piloted medical evacuation helicopters with teams of dedicated professionals who navigated and landed under fire to fly injured US Marines and allied forces to advance medical facilities. His career was filled with deployments to provide support and aid in national disasters and emergencies.

Wherever he ventured, everyone loved working and playing with Steve. With a kind and generous spirit, he was always willing to lead with his heart and lend a hand, serving his true purpose with humility.

Steven Frank Skoda was born on April 29, 1966, in Gloversville NY to Frank and Barbara Skoda. He was predeceased by his father on April 4, 1995. He is survived by his loving mother, 4 sisters, 8 nieces and nephews along with numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.