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CHIPS Articles: Top Tech Students Find Future at NAVSUP Business Systems Center via DoD Cyber Scholarship Program

Top Tech Students Find Future at NAVSUP Business Systems Center via DoD Cyber Scholarship Program
By NAVSUP Business Systems Center Public Affairs - January 12, 2021
Fourteen students selected for employment at Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Business Systems Center (BSC) through the Department of Defense (DoD) Cyber Scholarship Program (CySP) completed a virtual command orientation, Jan. 7.

The orientation was the first of a two-part program designed to familiarize and acclimate the students with civil service at NAVSUP BSC. This is the second group of students to go through the first phase of orientation since January 2020.

NAVSUP BSC has hired five full-time employees through the DoD CySP in the information technology (IT) fields. Six more students are expected to start work following graduation in May.

“Recruiting, developing, and retaining a highly-skilled civilian workforce is essential to accomplishing our mission,” said Brian Zirbel, executive director, NAVSUP BSC. “The DoD CySP is an indispensable tool that helps us recruit new, qualified candidates with the right talent and motivation to complement our current team of IT experts.”

During the orientation, NAVSUP BSC leadership addressed students and answered questions.

“You are exactly what NAVSUP BSC needs as we move forward with new technologies and face new challenges. We need the skills that you possess,” said Capt. Gene Cash, commanding officer, NAVSUP BSC, during the orientation. “Congratulations on your selection for this program.”

Students participating in the orientation completed pre-employment paperwork, received a DoD employee benefits brief, and learned more about NAVSUP BSC from current directors and employees.

“I learned how the various codes work at NAVSUP BSC and how they help support the Navy and its mission to protect our country,” said Jacob Neulight, orientation participant and student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. “Even though a large organization like NAVSUP can seem intimidating, it is made up of very personable and helpful individuals. I am looking forward to getting to know my coworkers and supervisors better.”

Later this year, students will participate in the second phase of orientation by completing a 10-week summer session that includes administrative processing, training, and an IT group project.

“I was nervous and didn’t know what to expect when I came for the orientation sessions,” said Joshua Griffith, a recent hire through DoD CySP now serving as a systems administrator for NAVSUP BSC. “Being part of a team and working on the project helped put me at ease. I see that what we do here affects people all around the world. I’m happy to serve my country, even if it’s in a small way. It’s a lot of responsibility and I take that seriously.”

After completion of the two-part orientation, graduating students are hired as full-time employees. Senior-year students return to college to finish academic requirements.

The DoD CySP is sponsored by the DoD Chief Information Officer and administered by the National Security Agency to recruit and retain cyber and IT specialists.

“It's a six-month service commitment to the DoD for each semester students receive tuition, stipend, book allowance, and a paid summer internship,” said Kelly Nave, coordinator for the DoD CySP orientation at NAVSUP BSC.

To apply for the program, students must be enrolled in an institution certified as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity. Applicants must submit a package to the DoD CySP program office that includes university sponsor signoff, resume, transcripts, essay response, and two letters of recommendation. Packages are due in February each year to be considered for the scholarship starting in the fall semester.

The 14 students who completed NAVSUP BSC’s January orientation session came from regional colleges and universities, including Bloomsburg University, Carnegie Mellon University, Farleigh Dickinson University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania State University, Robert Morris University, and Towson University.

“Bringing students onboard from different colleges helps us diversify our workforce by blending multiple disciplines of learning and thought,” said Zirbel. “This program affords us an opportunity and means to attract, engage, and hire some of the best and brightest IT college graduates the region has to offer.”

NAVSUP BSC provides the Navy with information systems support through the design, development, and maintenance of systems in the functional areas of logistics, supply chain management, transportation, finance, and accounting and is one of 11 commands under Commander, NAVSUP.

NAVSUP is headquartered in Mechanicsburg and employs 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.

For more information about NAVSUP BSC, visit
https://www.navsup.navy.mil/public/navsup/bsc/.

For more information on the DoD CySP, visit
https://public.cyber.mil/cysp/.

Lt. Nana Bonsu, project officer, Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Business Systems Center (BSC), discusses how the Navy resupplies ships at sea during an orientation session for 11 Pennsylvania college students selected for the Department of Defense Cybersecurity Scholarship Program. The program is designed to recruit and retain top cyber talent who have the skills necessary to meet DOD’s cyber requirements and help secure the nation against threats of information systems and networks. U.S. Navy photo by Thomas Zimmerman (Released)
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