Nevada Army Guard officer lands dream job at White House

After a strong showing by his affiliated political party in November’s presidential election, Nevada Army National Guard officer Capt. Gabriel Uy landed a highly sought-after job at the White House.

Of course he’s not the President.

Instead, Uy, of Joint Force Headquarters, is Associate Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs in Washington, D.C. The civilian appointee from Las Vegas works in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, just a stone’s throw away from President Biden’s Oval Office at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

In his position, Uy, 34, of Las Vegas, is part of a team that serves to engage state, local, Tribal and territorial governments to address the most pressing issues impacting the country, including President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan. It’s a huge task, considering there are thousands of elected officials in states, municipalities, territories, and Tribal Nations.

“At first, I was overwhelmed with the enormity of it all and thought, ‘What did I get myself into?’” said Uy, who began his job at the White House in March. “But serving in the White House is an incredible honor each day—to work on behalf of the American people.”

Uy’s current status and future potential in the world of politics has already been recognized. This year, he was named as one of the top 40 political and public affairs professionals under the age of 40 by the National Association of Asian Pacifics in Politics and Public Affairs.

Early in life, Uy appeared to be headed on a path to a job in health care rather than the White House. The son of Filipino-Chinese immigrants, Uy was born and raised in Las Vegas and graduated from Palo Verde High School in 2005. He was preparing for medical school at the University of Nevada, Reno, when he first dipped his toes into political waters. He completed two undergraduate degrees at UNR in nutritional sciences and speech communication in 2010, but found himself drawn to politics – not medicine – after serving as the UNR student body president’s chief of staff and in the student senate.

After graduation, Uy interned and worked at the California Legislature in Sacramento and then worked on Barack Obama’s campaign in 2012. He then served on now-retired Nevada Sen. Harry Reid’s staff from 2013-2016.

During his stint on Reid’s staff, Uy worked closely with another well-known Reid staffer in Nevada Army Guard circles – retired Maj. Gen. Robert Herbert.

Inevitably, Herbert convinced Uy he could serve his country both in policy and the military simultaneously if he joined the National Guard.

“The day I met Captain Uy in Senator Reid’s office, I recognized he had the attributes needed to be successful both in government and military service,” Herbert said. “I’m happy to see that he has continued to pursue dual careers in both political and military service. It is not an easy task. However, Captain Uy continues to demonstrate he has the ability to successfully do both.” After completing basic training in June 2015, Uy found himself at Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Ga., on the path toward becoming a second lieutenant.

“I definitely had second thoughts during training, but joining the Nevada Army National Guard has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.” Uy said. “I’ve met incredible Soldiers and Department of Defense civilians and have had extraordinary experiences so far in the Army, but this past year renewed my sense of pride in being a National Guard member.

“From deploying overseas to responding to natural disasters at home, and protecting the U.S. Capitol to supporting vaccination efforts in the states, the National Guard has led by example.”

After his initial military training, Uy became a finance officer. His first assignments in the Nevada Army Guard were with the 1864th Transportation Company in 2016 and the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Enhanced Response Force Package team in 2017.

In 2018-2019, Uy received an opportunity to work abroad and served at U.S. Army Southern European Task Force-Africa in Vicenza, Italy, where he successfully led the reconciliation of more than $33 million in financial obligations. He also completed the Army Comptroller Course at Syracuse University.

In 2019, Uy returned to the Silver State and transferred to the 17th Sustainment Brigade and became now-Vice President Kamala Harris’s Nevada political director.

Around the time her primary campaign concluded, Uy was selected for a tour at the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Va., where he was as a budget analyst, program manager, and command fleet manager for the Army National Guard’s Recruiting and Retention Division.

Today, Uy remains busy performing his duties in Washington, D.C, while simultaneously fulfilling his responsibilities as a Nevada Guard officer. He recently transferred to the Plans and Operations Section of Joint Force Headquarters and will complete his annual and monthly training in extended blocks of time while in Nevada.

“I may live in Washington, D.C, now, but Nevada will always be home,” Uy said. “The entire Nevada Guard leadership has been supportive in my transition back to traditional status so I can serve in my civilian capacity at the White House while still remaining a Nevada Guardsman.
 
 
 

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