August 01, 2000


 Specialty pay all but certain for boarded Air Force veterinarians

Posted Jul. 15, 2000


AVMA...from the Hill

A technical oversight that excluded the 40-plus board-certified veterinarians serving in the Air Force from receiving specialty pay should be taken care of by October, thanks to Colorado Sen Wayne Allard.

This past October, board-certified veterinarians in the US Department of Defense and US Public Health Service began receiving supplemental pay for the first time. Until then, veterinarians were the only professionally degreed personnel in the DOD not financially compensated for board certification.

But because the Air Force identifies veterinarians as "biomedical science corps officers," the more than 40 board-certified veterinarians in that branch were disqualified from the extra money, which ranges from $1,000 to $5,000 annually.

Allard, a veterinarian, introduced the initial legislation calling for specialty pay; now, he is sponsoring a technical correction with the 2001 defense appropriations bill. The correction is expected to clear the Senate and House without difficulty. Pay would then begin at the start of the fiscal year in October.