Army Veterinary Corps gets new leader

Published on April 24, 2019
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Col. Greiner
Col. Steven Greiner

Col. Steven Greiner will serve as the next chief of the Army Veterinary Corps.

Lt. Gen. Nadja West, Army surgeon general, selected Col. Greiner as the 27th chief of the Army Veterinary Corps, as announced March 23 by the retiring chief, Brig. Gen. Erik H. Torring III, who has held the position since 2015. The requirement for the Army Veterinary Corps chief to serve as a brigadier general was recently rescinded by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2018.

Col. Greiner has served as the director of veterinary services for the Army Medical Command's deputy chief of staff for public health since July 2017. He has also served as the Army's veterinary preventive medicine consultant to the Army surgeon general since 2016.

He grew up on a commercial beef cattle ranch in Cuero, Texas, and comes from three generations of physicians. "With veterinary medicine, I felt that I could get the best of both worlds—practicing medicine and being able to be outdoors," Col. Greiner told JAVMA News.

He received his veterinary degree in 1996 and his master's in veterinary public health in 2004, both from Texas A&M University. He also completed Army War College in 2014, earning a master's in strategic studies. He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.

Col. Greiner was commissioned as a captain in the Army Veterinary Corps in 1997 after leaving private practice in Cuero. His father served in the Army during World War II and the Air Force during the Korean War, which inspired Col. Greiner to join the military. Since then, Col. Greiner has been stationed throughout the United States and in Germany, where he was commander of Public Health Command Europe. He has also deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, Kenya, Jordan, Yemen, and Kuwait.

Decades of service have brought Col. Greiner numerous awards and decorations, such as the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, and the Army surgeon general's "A" proficiency designator for veterinary preventive medicine.

The Army Veterinary Corps provides for the nation's defense through food protection, biomedical research and development, and animal welfare and animal medical programs in support of force health protection and military readiness.

"In my opinion, veterinarians are some of the most adaptable, flexible, multitalented, and humble members of the uniformed services," Col. Greiner said. "Veterinarians mostly serve in the Army and Air Force and Public Health Service in uniform, but because of their extraordinary adaptability, many of us have been called to perform outside of our traditional roles. Our primary role in uniform is to protect the health and welfare of animals and humans to ensure the combat readiness of our military forces."

Related JAVMA content:

Torring takes command of Army Veterinary Corps (Jan. 15, 2016)