utilize reports, depositions, or affidavits submitted by veterinary officers in connection
with courts-martial, boards, or committees in preference to requiring appearance as
witnesses to present testimony in person.
a. At installations or activities where no veterinary officer is assigned, required
military veterinary service may be provided on an attending basis as determined by the
major Army commander.
b. Veterinary Corps officers will not engage in private practice without the
commander's approval. They should at all times, in the absence of civilian veterinarians
or in cases of emergency, perform veterinary procedures where lack of immediate care
would cause additional suffering or endanger the life of the animal.
3-22. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
a. The importance of cavalry mounts to the tactical operations of armies in the
1800's resulted in the first authorizations for the employment of veterinarians in the US
Army. During the Civil war, one veterinarian was authorized for each cavalry regiment.
b. With the opening of the Spanish-American War in 1898, artillery and
quartermaster units were also authorized veterinarians to care for the horses that
moved heavy weapons, supplies, and some men. There was no central direction for the
professionals in animal care; they were controlled by the elements to which they were
c. As the twentieth century dawned, however, the military role of veterinarians
began expanding. Their value as food inspectors to avert losses of manpower through
food borne disease and loss of money through preventable losses of subsistence was
recognized. As a result, the Army VC was established in 1916. The new corps was
placed under the command of TSG as a vital link in the preservation of the health of
Army troops and the conservation of fighting strength as well as in providing for the care
and treatment of military animals.
d. During World War 1, the major activity of the VC was in the area of veterinary
animal service. In that war, great numbers of horses and mules were used in combat,
combat support, and combat service support units. The ratio of animals to men was
one to three. The outcome of major campaigns frequently depended upon the size and
efficiency of animal transport means.
e. In World War II, which was a war of men and machines, the ratio of animals
to men was 1 to 134. The importance of veterinary animal service became
subordinated in favor of the principal task of food inspection. While service for animals
was of somewhat lesser importance it did not disappear from the picture. In World War
I, an estimated 20 percent of VC personnel were used to inspect the Army's
subsistence. In World War II, though, the percentage of VC personnel used for this
purpose increased to about 90 percent.