Veterinary Corps (United States Army)
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The U.S. Army Veterinary Corps1 is a staff corps (non-combat specialty branch) of the U.S. Army Medical Department (AMEDD)consisting of commissioned veterinary officers and HPSP (Health Professions Scholarship Program) veterinary students. It was established by an Act of Congress on 3 June 1916.2 Recognition of the need for veterinary expertise had been evolving since 1776 when General Washington directed that a "regiment of horse with a farrier" be raised.3 It has evolved to include sanitary food inspectors and animal healthcare specialists.
The Veterinary Corps is supported by warrant officer and enlisted AMEDD personnel. Warrant officers are the core of its Food Inspection service. Enlisted personnel can serve as Food Inspection Specialists and Animal Care Technicians; enlisted collar insignia lacks the 'V' and is the same as that worn by medics.4
The U.S. Army Veterinary Service is currently composed of more than 700 veterinarians, 80 warrant officers, and 1800 enlisted soldiers in both the active duty and in the Army Reserves. The Chief of the Veterinary Corps is a Brigadier General. The Veterinary Service employs an additional 400 civilians.
The US Army Veterinary Corps' mission is to protect the Warfighter and support the National Military Strategy. They accomplish this by providing veterinary public health capabilities through veterinary medical and surgical care, food safety and defense, and biomedical research and development. In addition, Veterinary Corps Officers provide military veterinary expertise in response to natural disasters and other emergencies. While the current mission statement does not include the performance of stability and reconstruction operations, Veterinary Corps personnel are involved in these missions.5
The US Army Veterinary Corps provides food safety and security inspections for all of the Armed Services. They also are responsible for providing care to Military Working Dogs, ceremonial horses, working animals of many Department of Homeland Security organizations, and pets owned by service members. They also contribute their skills in the development of life saving medical products that protect all service members.
Health Professions Scholarship Program
The Army offers the F. Edward Hebert Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP). Qualified recipients earn a full-tuition scholarship, plus a monthly allowance through the HPSP to attend an accredited Veterinarian School in the United States.
Direct Commissioning is offered to all graduates of accredited schools of veterinary medicine in the United States. You must be a U.S. citizen to be commissioned. The maximum age is 42 at time of accession.
ROTC Educational Delay
Students commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corps (R.O.T.C) may apply for an Educational Delay to attend veterinary school. Applications should be made through the local R.O.T.C. office.
Officers may apply for Long Term Health Education and Training programs leading to advanced degrees and board eligibility and certification. Programs run from 1–3 years and include training at either military or civilian institutions. Full pay and allowances continue during training. Programs include:
- Veterinary Pathology (Armed Forces Institute of Pathology)
- Laboratory Animal Medicine
- Epidemiology Investigative Services (EIS) Fellowship at the CDC
- PhD in physiology, pharmacology, toxicology, microbiology, pathology, or public health.
- Master's Degree in internal medicine, surgery, radiology, food animal/preventive medicine, emergency medicine, public health, food technology, or human animal bond.
Association of Retired Enlisted Veterinary Personnel
At the Veterinary Service Division of Health Services Command. Department of the Army was having “Hip Pocket Orders” issued to all retired 91R’s or 91T”s. A group of former Senior Army Veterinary NCOs, While looking at this list ( Karl Stegmann, Wallace (Ole) Olson, Dweight (Pat) Pattillo, and Richard (Dick) Parker along with a group of active duty members discovered a lot of old drinking buddies from Chicago, Denmark, Germany, Korea and other assignments. The decision made was to get in touch with everyone on the list and see if a time for a get together could be set. Karl had a new computer and said he would contact them by mail, with help he was able to contact almost everyone on the DA list. The decision made was to have a get together in San Antonio during the fall of 1989. When word got out the Vets are having a party a couple of hundred retires expressed interest and about a hundred actually attended the charter reunion. The Association of Retired Enlisted Veterinary Personnel came into being, Officers were elected and the By-Laws written; Karl was elected Secretary and most of the real work for the organization was placed on him. We had several other reunions in San Antonio, then the decision to form regions, which would have mini-reunions in the year that the national reunion was not held; national reunions are to be held every two years and hosted by a region rather than all reunions being in one place. AREVP started as an organization of Retired Army Enlisted Veterinary Personnel but has changed to allow all personnel active or retired Army or Air Force who have completed Veterinary Service Training in Animal Care or Food Inspection to become members we also have both Veterinary Service Warrant Officers and Veterinary Corps Officers as honorary members. "http://www.arevp.org/"
- Urwin, G.J.W., The United States Cavalry: An Illustrated History, Red River Books (2003), pg 13
- Army Regulation 670-1 "Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia" 3 February 2005
- Smith, J.C. LTC USA, "Stabilization And Reconstruction Operations: The Role Of The US Army Veterinary Corps", US Army Medical Department Journal June–August 2007