Brigadier General Michael Cates, chief of the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps, hosted AVMA President Roger K. Mahr and 28 veterinary educators at the Corps' first educator tour, May 15-18 at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Sponsored by the U.S. Army Recruiting Command, the tour was organized to enhance recruiting efforts and familiarize key leaders with the Veterinary Corps and its incentives and benefits, such as scholarship and loan repayment programs.
Twenty-seven of the 28 U.S. colleges of veterinary medicine were represented, as was the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. The participants included seven deans, eight associate deans, department chiefs, program directors, and assistant deans.
Educators learned about Veterinary Corps training in all dimensions, from classrooms at the Army Medical Department Center and School to the deployed environment where the Corps provides animal medicine as well as food safety and defense support to all services of the Department of Defense. At Brooke Army Medical Center, located at Fort Sam Houston, the educators observed the application of Veterinary Corps support of human health care research and development efforts at the Institute of Surgical Research.
The tour continued at the Department of Defense Military Working Dog Center at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, where the Veterinary Corps cares for the working dogs produced for the Department of Defense. Demonstrations were given by the working dogs and the Transportation Security Administration National Explosives Detection Canine Team Program, which is also located at Lackland.
The educators participated in a panel discussion with the Army surgeon general's consultants in the specialties of veterinary preventive medicine, laboratory animal medicine, veterinary pathology, veterinary comparative medicine, and veterinary clinical medicine.