Meet Navy Veteran and Tuskegee graduate Kwasi Sneed, a multifaceted individual whose journey is as diverse as his interests. From his roots in Washington, D.C., to his service in the military and beyond, AMSG’s Employee of the Month, Kwasi R. Sneed, embodies a blend of dedication to duty, passion for family, and a deep-rooted curiosity about the world.

With a distinguished 20-year military career in the U.S. Navy, Kwasi now serves as an Irregular Warfare Analyst supporting senior-level U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) decision-makers in advancing National Defense Strategy (NDS) priorities. He also finds time to mentor college students and write articles for the AMSGazette. At home, you can find him playing chess, flying airplanes, or hosting BBQs for friends and family.

Inspired by his parents’ legacies, particularly his father, Kwasi humbly models his life after his father. Highly respected in the community, Kwasi’s father participated in the lunch counter sit-ins during the Civil Rights Movement, was a member of the North Carolina A&T’s Blue & Gold Marching Machine, and played jazz music in clubs in Germany during his Army tours overseas.

Considering his third act of life, it’s no surprise that Kwasi aims to run for public office and teach International Affairs and Foreign Policy at the collegiate level. At this point, the sky is the limit. Read Kwasi’s story, one where we find a tapestry woven with threads of passion, dedication, and a profound appreciation for family, faith, and country. His journey serves as a testament to the pursuit of excellence in all facets of life

AMSG: Tell us a bit about your background.

Kwasi Sneed (KS): I am a native of Washington, D.C. I received my undergraduate degree from Tuskegee University and graduate degree from Troy University. I joined the Navy when I was 25 years old and served for 20 years. I decided to join the Navy for the sense of purpose of serving, to see the world, and to explore new opportunities. But following my early morning run on 9/11 with my father at the track at Dunbar High School, driving home and smelling smoke from the burning Pentagon and wondering if my aunt was able to make it out of the building (she did), made the call for service more meaningful.

This may be a surprising fact, but I was once an aspiring artist whose work – an acrylic painting of a mountain overlooking a village – was portrayed in former Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly’s executive office.

AMSG: What is your current role at AMSG?

KS: I’m an Irregular Warfare Analyst, which has been meaningful and rewarding. As an Irregular Warfare Analyst, my role involves supporting senior-level Department of Defense (DoD) decision-makers in advancing National Defense Strategy (NDS) priorities. Additionally, I provide analytical support on strategic-level Joint Staff policy documents and engage with various stakeholders, both within the DoD and with other U.S. government entities, on current and future-facing strategic issues.

AMSG: What do you do for fun?

KS: It varies, but I love weightlifting, swimming, shooting, practicing martial arts, grilling with family and friends, and playing with my young children.

Flying is my first love though. I remember my first airplane flight on Eastern Airlines to Jamaica as a young child – the whole experience kindled my love for flying and becoming a pilot. Not to date myself, but after the aircraft reached cruising altitude, children were allowed into the cockpit to talk to pilots.

However, I rewarded myself after passing my economics statistics midterm exam by taking my first flight in a Cessna from the Tuskegee Moton Field Municipal Airfield. Flying gives me a peace of mind, and similar to playing chess, you must be thinking three events ahead of the current one in order to avoid mistakes and complete a successful flight.

Following that experience, I was able to partake in flight training at various airports where I was stationed at to include, Freeway Airport (W00), Whidbey Island Naval Air Station (KNUW), and Hampton Roads Executive Airport (KPVG). During my training I was able to accumulate over 45 hours and earned my solo qualification for the Cessna 172 and Piper Cherokee. However, life and military service and deployments happened after that first flight experience, and it’s been some time since I flew. But thanks to the AMSG Cares Hobby Program, I will be able to finally finish my quest for a private pilot’s license.

AMSG: Who or what is your biggest inspiration in life?

KS: My parents. They were amazing people, and both had a very big impact on my life.

During my father’s final days, I learned of so many interesting stories and events about his life. He participated in the lunch counter sit-ins during the Civil Rights Movement. He was a member of the North Carolina A&T marching band. And during his Army overseas tours, he continued his love of jazz and played in clubs in Germany.

He was a much-respected person in his community and could have been mayor of New Bern, North Carolina, but decided to migrate north to Washington, D.C., for better employment and opportunities. He also had the opportunity to attend Harvard University but decided to prioritize family. To me, that just demonstrates his values and commitment to family.

He would often motivate me to be better and strive for the best in life and to continue reading and furthering my education. I am humbled to model my life as a husband and father behind my father and impart the legacy and impression he left upon me to my children and family.

AMSG: Where was the last place you traveled?

KS: Virginia Beach. While it was a work trip, I was able to have my family with me and after a long period apart, it was special to enjoy the atmosphere and good food at Virginia Beach with my family. I enjoyed the wonderful memories on the beach, and wide smiles of children after our nightly ice cream ventures on the boardwalk.

AMSG: What’s your favorite place?

KS: Washington, D.C. It’s such a wonderful and captivating city with rich history and culture, a thriving restaurant scene, monuments, museums, and so much more. During the moments I ventured to Blues Alley Jazz in Georgetown, I often reflect on the greats such as Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Sonny Rollins, and many more who played at this historic venue. Also, my mother always tells the story of her running into Muhammad Ali at the historic Ben’s Chili Bowl. All of this just makes D.C. a very fond place in my heart.

AMSG: Is there something you’ve been wanting to do that you haven’t done?

KS: I’d like to travel to Jerusalem to explore the historical sites and experience spiritual enrichment. For me, Jerusalem is home to numerous holy sites relevant to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. And although there is geopolitical friction in the area at the moment, being able to see the sites and reflect on the events that occurred there, would have a very spiritually uplifting effect on me.

AMSG: What would you like to do/where would you like to be when you retire?

KS: During my second retirement, I’m considering running for public office and being a college professor in International Affairs and Foreign Policy.

In 2025, I plan on starting at the Institute of World Politics (WIP) to pursue a Doctor of Statecraft and National Security (Professional) (DSNS). Working toward my Ph.D. and teaching our next generation will be truly rewarding, I think. Additionally, furthering the call of service to the country at the highest levels of government to legislate policies that ensure our sovereignty and protect our national security interests. One questions I would always ask my Sailors when they have a negative remark about a peer is, ‘Well what did you do to help them through the challenge versus gossiping or looking down on them?’ I feel the same way about our country: What can I do for my country with my talents and my abilities?

AMSG: If you could, what would you tell your younger self? Why?

KS: While I would not change any events in my life, as they ultimately made me into the man I am today, I would tell the younger me not to worry and be anxious over events you have no control about. Saint Matthew reflected, ‘Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?’ As we face life’s adversities, I think that provides us structure and reassurance.

Interview and Introduction by: Juania Owens