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CHIPS Articles: BEM Internship Paves Path to Warfighter Support

BEM Internship Paves Path to Warfighter Support
By Lt. Kyle Combs, Project Officer, Naval Supply Systems Command Business Systems Center - April-June 2019
MECHANICSBURG, Pa. -- Navy Supply Corps officers pursuing Business/Enterprise Supply Chain Management (BEM) careers can begin their education with a 24-month internship at Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Business Systems Center (BSC), NAVSUP Weapons Systems Support, or Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR).

“The BEM Internship Program serves as the commencement of a career in logistics (LOG) information technology (IT),” said Capt. Douglas M. Bridges Jr., commanding officer, NAVSUP BSC, and BEM Internship Program lead.

Managing the Navy’s increasingly complex supply chain through an IT infrastructure, capable of real-time data analysis and automated decision-making, allows complete integration of business processes.

“This infrastructure, properly governed by BEMs, enables the Supply Corps to meet the needs of the fleet,” said Bridges. “With information systems evolving at an ever-increasing rate and the Navy’s extended investment in enterprise systems like Navy Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), we have recognized a need to invest in human capital to keep pace in this area of expertise.”

BEM interns receive formal education and earn multiple accreditations in the management of information systems from universities such as Penn State University, The George Washington University, and University of Virginia, Darden Business School.

“The IT field has always interested me. I wanted to take part in the BEM program since first learning about this internship opportunity at Navy Supply Corps School. Two of my mentors completed this program as well and I am in awe of their depth of knowledge and passion for our business. I wanted to follow their path,” said Lt. Tristan Skinner, a BEM intern assigned to NAVAIR Patuxent River, Maryland.

A review of the BEM program in 2018 led to a change from the Defense Acquisition University’s (DAU) Program Management career field to Life Cycle Logistics. With this change, interns now earn their Life Cycle Logistics Level II accreditation during their tour.

DAU, a corporate university for the Defense Acquisition Workforce, certifies that Life Cycle Logisticians are qualified to identify, plan, resource, and acquire facilities, hardware, software, documentation, manpower, and personnel necessary for planning and management of mission critical systems.

“The management of parts from cradle to grave, and providing transparency and traceability is a pillar of LOG IT,” said Bridges.

In addition to formal education, BEM interns earn hands-on experience as project officers by directly interfacing with enterprise systems governing the Navy’s supply chain.

“I primarily work with Navy ERP and Defense Property Accountability System, two of NAVAIR's accountable property systems of record,” said Skinner. “I’m also learning about the DoD's acquisition life cycle and how the Supply Corps and our technology investments are integral parts of making it work.”

After 24 months working with these systems, BEM interns earn the Logistics Information Technology 1309S subspecialty code. This designation identifies the officer as having significant experience in the field and provides opportunity for senior tours within the community.

“Supply Corps officers with this level of expertise will fill critical roles throughout the Navy and be capable of providing unparalleled warfighter support,” said Bridges.

Supply Corps officers interested in beginning a career in LOG IT through a BEM internship must submit their application 12 months prior to their next projected rotation date. Packages are screened in April and October of each year and notification of selection will be announced by Commander, NAVSUP, and Chief of Supply Corps.

“It’s important to note, the BEM internship talent pool is always very rich but there are a few details that help packages stand out,” said Bridges. “I place explicit importance on sustained superior performance and letters of recommendation from senior Supply Corps officers who know them best.”

With only five BEM internship billets across the community, there are a limited number of selections each year. Recent year averages suggest a typical selection ratio of one in 17, resulting in less than 6 percent of applicants receiving internships.

Interns selected should expect future assignments with commands that focus on LOG IT in order to expand their experience and prepare them for senior BEM positions.

NAVSUP BSC provides the Navy with information systems support through the design, development, and maintenance of information systems in the functional areas of logistics, supply chain management, transportation, finance, and accounting and is one of 11 commands under Commander, NAVSUP. Headquartered in Mechanicsburg, and employing a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel, NAVSUP's mission is to provide supplies, services, and quality-of-life support to the Navy and joint warfighter.

To learn more about BEM internships, visit

For more information about NAVSUP BSC, visit

Lt. Kyle Combs, a Navy Supply Corps Business/Enterprise Supply Chain Management (BEM) intern, assigned to Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Business Systems Center (BSC) in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Combs currently serves as a Project Manager for NAVSUP BSC while pursuing a career in logistics (LOG) information technology (IT). BEM Supply Corps officers serve as experts managing LOG IT infrastructure of supply chain systems and fill critical roles providing information systems support throughout the Navy. U.S. Navy photo by James E. Foehl/Released
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