By Rachel Clark, 409th Contracting Support BrigadeOctober 5, 2012
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany -- An Army acquisition officer assigned here is the first in his branch selected to work with Google as part of the Army's Training with Industry Program.
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," said Bisswurm.
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." Skills he will use at Google.
One of the objectives of the TWI is to provide Soldiers' hands-on experience in top defense, information technology and pioneering commercial companies. 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 in Iraq.
"I wanted to broaden my skills," he said. "Being in a combat deployment, I saw the direct impact contracting had on the war fighter."
Bisswurm added that 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 tenfold 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.
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 affect positive change in the Army Acquisition Corps," said Scott Green, acquisition education and training branch chief, U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center.