By Lt. Shane O’Donnell, SC, USN
We live in a world that runs on fuel, and that fuel has to be guarded by experts with fuel knowledge. And who is going to do it, you? We have greater responsibilities than you can possibly fathom. Do you want to join our team? If so, keep reading.
Are you still on your first sea tour, do you want to be part of a dynamic technical performance team that drives hands on fuel management in support of the Navy’s seaborne and aviation platforms? Are you looking for a challenging and competitive shore tour that will diversify your career profile and enable you to earn a 1307S petroleum management subspecialty code and a Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act level-two certification in life cycle logistics? Do you want to join a small community of dedicated Supply Corps officers with a collective love of fuel?
If you answered yes to these questions, then the petroleum management (POL) internship might be for you. The POL internship is one segment of the broader operational logistics internship development program. It is a great opportunity to gain hands on experience and knowledge regarding the intricacies of Department of Defense (DoD) fuel and fuel systems, while integrating operational logistics to support the National Military Strategy.
The internship program is a 24-month, fast-paced, and mind-stimulating opportunity that grants junior Supply Corps officers the privilege to work with some of the most talented officers, Sailors and civilians the DoD has to offer. There are seven POL internship billets located at NAVSUP Naval Petroleum Office in Ft. Belvoir, Virginia, NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Jacksonville, NAVSUP FLC Norfolk, NAVSUP FLC San Diego, NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound, NAVSUP FLC Pearl Harbor and NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka. At the conclusion of the 24-month tour, interns will be assigned a follow-on fuels tour.
The vast curriculum focuses experience in areas of fuel operations, quality assurance, maintenance management, fuel automation systems, dispatch, scheduling as well as Joint logistics and Joint planning. The internship begins with a crash course in Joint petroleum operations via the petroleum water officer course (PWOC) in Fort Lee, Virginia. This teaches the basics of military specification fuel and quality assurance, and dives into service specific equipment and publications. By the time the interns leave PWOC they have a base level knowledge that can be built upon with future practical and on-the-job-training at their assigned fuel site.
The internship curriculum affords POL interns a two-year training opportunity to travel across the NAVSUP Enterprise and learn as much as about petroleum operations as possible. This is accomplished via courses taught by industry professionals to include corrosion management, confined space safety, industrial hygiene, Joint logistics, quality control, environmental, inventory management and accounting as well as learning directly from fuel operators on the fuel farm and on the flight line. The intern will receive on-site experience and the opportunity to dive into the publications that govern the petroleum community. The immense knowledge base that the instructors and the operators have and share regarding fuel and fuel infrastructure helps interns to develop an appreciation for the intricacies of the petroleum business that is loved by the members of POL community.
Regarding the follow on tour, Navy Fuel Officers across the globe are responsible for managing defense fuel support points, from a deep-water terminal to a tactical bag farm. “Fuelies” also serve as planners at the fleet level and combatant commands. Upon completion of the POL internship and achievement of a 1307S code, the interns are detailed immediately to a follow on tour. These billets are mostly overseas at locations like Rota Spain, Diego Garcia, Commander Task Force 73 (CTF-73) in Singapore, Naval Air Station Sigonella, and U.S. Sixth Fleet in Naples Italy, to name a few. This is a great opportunity to live overseas, showcase the knowledge that has been gained via the internship program and earn a 1307R code.
The POL internship program is extremely competitive with only seven billets available and only a few spots open during any given internship cycle. If you are selected you will join a small community of dedicated Supply Corps officers who, at the end of the day, love their jobs. Each and every day “Fuelies” across the globe directly support the warfighter. It is an exciting business that keeps our military operational, allowing us to be ready to fight tonight.