U.S. Army Veterinary Corps - Reserve Components
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U.S. Army Veterinary Services - Reserve Components

COL Garry E. O’NealThank you for your interest in the United States Army Reserve Veterinary Corps.

As Veterinary Corps Officers within the military, our mission is both exciting and diverse. We are responsible for ensuring the health of the military through food safety and defense activities which includes food inspection, sanitary audits, laboratory testing, and command advisory roles to name a few. Our veterinarians are also responsible for maintaining the health of government-owned animals through preventive medicine, clinical and surgical care, handler training, and serving as advisors to the command. Our skills are also sought to develop the knowledge and capabilities of animal care workers, farmers, and agricultural-based industries in many areas across the globe. Veterinarians possessing advanced training and board certification provide additional capabilities in Preventive Medicine, Internal Medicine, Surgery, Pathology, Toxicology, and other areas of research and development. Our veterinary service personnel may also be called to support civil authorities during natural or man-made disasters.

We have twelve field units known as Medical Detachment (Veterinary Service Support [MDVSS]) and thirteen military installation support units (TDA Veterinary Detachments) which are located across the United States (see the TDA and TOE Unit Locator).

The MDVSS units are larger units consisting of veterinary service support teams, food procurement and laboratory teams, medicine and surgical teams, and headquarters section. These are considered mobile units and transport their equipment with the unit to support the mission. These units typically conduct annual training exercises at one of the major training centers within the United States or training and veterinary support missions abroad. MDVSS units may deploy to theaters in austere environments as either single squads or whole units to provide veterinary service support to that region of conflict.

TDA units are smaller in scale and are designed to mobilize and provide veterinary medical services as well as food safety and defense support to U.S. military installations and those abroad. Upon mobilization, these units fall-in on equipment and fixed facilities to perform their veterinary service mission. Training is often performed alongside Active Duty counterparts in the garrison environment to attain and sustain critical mission skillsets.

We also have veterinarians assigned to Command Groups, Civil Affairs units, Training Support Battalions, Individual Mobilization Augmentee positions, and various other positions within the Army Reserve. The mission of these veterinarians depends upon the mission assigned to the commanding unit and varies from advisory, civil-military operations, training support, provision of veterinary care, to staff responsibilities.

We develop our officers by mentoring with peers and leaders, challenging them with different additional duties within the unit, encouraging them to seek different assignments of diversity throughout their career and through military and professional education. Serving in the Army Reserve is a team experience—for the Soldier, Soldier’s family, and unit of assignment; however, it does require individual initiative to seek opportunities and progress with development of military knowledge and skills. You will serve with an amazing group of Soldiers and officers and will find a unique support and networking group within the military. You will also find that our officers come from a variety of backgrounds with regard to civilian career expertise and experiences.
Incentives: Currently, applicants not currently under another military service obligation period may receive $25,000 (pre-tax) special pay yearly for up to three years and up to $50,000 loan repayment spread over three years. The special pay and loan repayment cannot be received at the same time. Other special pay and board certification pay is also offered if called to Active Duty for >30 days. Ask your recruiter for more information.

I encourage you to seize the opportunity to serve the United States and our military members.

Garry E. O’Neal
COL, VC, USAR
Deputy Corps Chief, Mobilization and Reserve Affairs