HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — Airman 1st Class Andrew Snively and Airman Fist Class Christian Uy work back to back. They share an office, an Air Force job, a love for family and a goal to end their Air Force careers as officers one day.
They are also two of the most financially experienced E-3s you’re likely to run across in the military.
“We really hit the jackpot with those two,” said Chad Woods, 388th Fighter Wing comptroller.
Snively, 28, and Uy, 23, both held successful entry-level jobs in finance before deciding to join the Air Force in 2017. Snively worked at an investment bank in Kansas City managing transactions in stock portfolios his company oversaw for corporations like Microsoft and Cigna. Uy was a regional sales manager for the largest petroleum company in Southeast Asia.
So what brought two career-minded twenty-something’s into the Air Force?
Uy was born and raised in the Phillipines. His family had always had a desire to move to America. The opportunity finally came when Uy’s mom was accepted for a nursing job in California. Uy, who already had a bachelor’s degree in business and a solid job, had to choose between his career and his family.
“So many people in my country want to go to America and even though I had a good job and was in a good position I didn’t want to be separated from my mom and dad and brother,” he said. “I spent six months in the Philippines without them after they left and that was really hard.”
Once he moved to America, Uy decided he wanted to join the military to pursue citizenship (he obtained that in August) a career in service, and a way to pay for his Master’s degree. His cousins and uncles, most of whom served in the Navy, convinced him the Air Force was a good option.
Snively, from a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri, went to college on a basketball scholarship. He redshirted his first year before he bounced around a few different colleges with different majors.
One of his friends helped him get a job in the finance world. The job paid well for an entry-level position, but he wasn’t fulfilled.
“I was moving money around in retirement accounts, helping millionaires and billionaires get richer. I didn’t really know my coworkers, there wasn’t a really any engagement to my work,” Snively said.
When the company started outsourcing jobs to India, his mind was pretty much made up.
Snively, who has also spent time working with special-needs adults, wants to start a non-profit organization to help high-functioning members of that group learn financial management skills so they can live more independently. He sees a career in the Air Force as a good way to build a foundation for that goal.
“I’ve always wanted to make a difference. I feel like I’m doing that in the Air Force,” Snively said.
Uy and Snively are the only two Airmen in the 388th FW Financial Management Office and they can be entrusted with projects that impact the entire wing because they are able to handle the responsibility, said Mr. Woods.
“When most people think of the military, they think of pilots, or Navy Seals or Army Rangers. Now that I’m part of the military I know how important every job is and that we all work together,” Snively said. “I know the mission and the leadership in this wing is unique and a big part of our success”