AVMA to pursue restoring 'star' to veterinary corps

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The Executive Board has charged the Legislative Advisory Committee to pursue the restoration of General Officer rank to the position of Chief of the US Army Veterinary Corps.

Given the importance of the veterinary corps, the AVMA believes a general officer is necessary to provide the authority and status needed to carry out its global mission. During his address to the AVMA House of Delegates in July, Dr. James E. Nave, a veteran of the corps, asked the committee to make restoring the "star" a priority.

Dr. Nave was joined in his recommendation to the board by Dr. James H. Brandt, AVMA president-elect, and Dr. Leonard F. Seda, AVMA immediate past president.

From 1946 until 1990, the chief of the veterinary corps was a brigadier general. Since the mid-1990s, a colonel has been in charge.

The chief commands approximately 1,700 veterinarians, warrant officers, technicians, and food inspectors in the veterinary service stationed throughout the world. The importance of the corps' global mission to the health, welfare, and mission capability to Department of Defense personnel dictates the need for a general officer to provide the authority and status necessary to carry out the corps' mission. The chief of the veterinary corps is also director of veterinary service activity in the Department of Defense. As such, the chief must interact with foreign officials to decide on issues affecting trade and foreign relations.