Face of Defense: Army Acquisition Officer Works With Google
By Jonathan Pruett
21st Theater Sustainment Command
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany, Oct. 5, 2012 An Army acquisition officer assigned here is the first in his branch selected to work with Google Inc. as part of the Army's Training with Industry Program.
Army Maj. Matthew Bisswurm, plans and operations officer with the 903rd Contingency Contracting Battalion in Kaiserslautern, Germany, was selected for a position at Google Inc. as part of the Army's Training with Industry Program. U.S. Army photo
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Maj. Matthew Bisswurm, plans and operations officer with the 903rd Contingency Contracting Battalion, 409th Contracting Support Brigade, began his one-year internship with the Fortune 100 company in August and will bring back to the Army any lessons learned.
"I'm looking to bring some of the innovative processes and successful techniques that Google has used, and help integrate them into the Army," Bisswurm said.
The Army, as well as the acquisition career field, has prepared Bisswurm for this opportunity.
"I love the expeditionary side of contingency contracting," Bisswurm said. "I love doing missions, and I love being on a team."
One of the objectives of the TWI is to provide soldiers hands-on experience in top defense, information technology and pioneering commercial companies, officials said. The program helps improve communication between commercial industry and the Army. Working with major corporations helps the Army speak the same language as its industry partners.
Bisswurm joined the Army in 2000 and made the transition into contracting in 2008 following a second combat deployment to Iraq.
"I wanted to broaden my skills," he said. "Being in a combat deployment, I saw the direct impact contracting had on the warfighter."
Bisswurm said he wants to use the skills he learns at Google and take them back with him to his next assignment.
"I want to have a different perspective on decision making, theory, manufacturing, and problem solving," he said. "I think the Army gains ten-fold on this program. The experience and insight are immeasurable."
Selected officers, warrant officers and noncommissioned officers are placed in jobs with industry partners and exposed to innovative industrial management tactics, techniques and procedures that can benefit the Army, officials said.
After completing the training, participants are immediately placed in a mandatory follow-on Army assignment to improve the Army's ability to interact and conduct business with industry.
"We want our guys to benchmark lessons learned and effect positive change in the Army Acquisition Corps," said Scott Green, acquisition education and training branch chief, U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center.