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News | Oct. 11, 2022

PaCE Spotlight: Dan Schuemann

By Liz Norvey DLA Disposition Services Pathways to Career Excellence Program

Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services Operational Contracting Division Chief Daniel Schuemann participated in the Pathways to Career Excellence Program when it was still called the DLA Corporate Intern Program in 2004. Today, he works in the Contracting Directorate at DLA Disposition Services Headquarters in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Portrait of man with flag in background
DLA Disposition Services Dan Schuemann
DLA Disposition Services Operational Contracting Division Chief Dan Schuemann
Photo By: Kelly Burell
VIRIN: 221004-D-D0441-408
Why did you apply to the PaCE Program? Was it your first position with DLA?

I found Defense Reutilization Marketing Office, now DLA Disposition Services, at a job fair at Grand Valley State University, Michigan.  At the time, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to be when I grew up, so I submitted a resume and the 1102 intern position was my first job at DLA…or anywhere else.

What have been your favorite parts of the PaCE Program?

Building and fostering relationships with my fellow interns and all of the people that support the interns throughout the two-year journey.

Group photo of two men and one woman.
DLA Disposition Services employees (left to right): Dan Schuemann, Jenny Norvey and Cam Schuemann.
Group photo of two men and one woman.
DLA Disposition Services employees
DLA Disposition Services employees (left to right): Dan Schuemann, Jenny Norvey and Cam Schuemann.
Photo By: Kelly Burell
VIRIN: 221004-D-D0441-410

Do you have a favorite memory from your time in the program?

Visiting Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office sites. The site visits really helped me understand where contracting fits in the grand puzzle and witness the challenges firsthand that our field personnel face on a daily basis.

If there was one thing that could’ve been different for you in the PaCE program, what would it be?

A better understanding of roles and responsibilities between our supervisor in Columbus, Ohio, and function supervisor in Battle Creek, Michigan.

What would you say is the most important quality to succeed in the PaCE program? 

Be a sponge. There will be times where you feel like you are drinking from a firehose, but do your best to take it all in. There is a lot of value in understanding everyone’s role in the agency.

In your own words, how would you describe the PaCE program, and what can you gain from it? 

The PaCE Program is a great way to enter or advance in the agency. You are able to gain an agency wide perspective while also receiving job specific training.

Please describe your current position in a couple of sentences, and how being in the PaCE program affected you in that position.   

Currently, I am the Operational Contracting Division Chief. My division handles all service and supply contracts except hazardous waste or sales.

The Corporate Intern Program gave me a start. I had no idea what contracting or the 1102 series was when I interviewed. The program built the foundation of my knowledge and experience that I utilize on a daily basis.

What have you done since you finished with the PaCE Program?

I brought the lessons and experiences that I gained in the program with me every day of my career. My entire career has been a blessing and I appreciate everyone that has helped/supported me along the way. 

Where did you see yourself going when you first started, and how does that compare to where you are now? 

I had no idea where my career would take me when I was first selected to the intern program. In all honesty, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Just enjoying the ride.

Do you have any advice for current PaCERs?

Enjoy the experience and gather as much knowledge as you can. Build and maintain those relationships.

Editorial Note: The Pathways to Career Excellence Program for DLA Disposition Services is a two-year program that takes PaCERs through all of Disposition Services and its processes to learn as much as possible about the directorate. The first year takes place at DLA Disposition Services Headquarters in Battle Creek, Michigan, and the second year either takes place in Battle Creek for Contracting PaCERs or at an assigned field site for Property Disposal PaCERs. PaCERs begin as general schedule 7s, move to GS-9s at the end of their first year, and graduate the program as GS-11s. There are multiple pathways to becoming a PaCER, including being hired internally, as a recent graduate, or from military service.