May 5, 2011
Katharina "Kat" Waterkamp, class of 2013, and Katherine "Katie" Wright, class of 2014, were commissioned as officers in the US Army May 5 at the School of Veterinary Medicine.
After signing contracts and taking oaths to defend their country, the students became second lieutenants in the Army Medical Service Corps. Upon earning their DVM degrees, they will be recommissioned in the Army Veterinary Corps.
Officers in the Army Veterinary Corps serve worldwide and may be based at a Army, Marine, Navy, Coast Guard or Airforce base. The Army is the only branch of service with a Veterinary Corps.
For now, Waterkamp and Wright will continue their studies in the four-year DVM degree program. At graduation, they will rise to the rank of captain. They will take a leadership course and train for active duty before moving to their first military assignments.
The Army offers 35 scholarships each year to veterinary students interested in serving as veterinarians in military service. A qualified student receives a full-tuition scholarship and a monthly allowance. Most veterinary scholarships are offered in the second or third year of veterinary school.
Scholarship recipients are required to serve on active duty for three years after graduation and serve in the Individual Ready Reserve for five years.
According to information on the Army's website, "The US Army Veterinary Corps provides food safety and security inspections for all of the Armed Services. The group is also responsible for providing care to military working dogs, ceremonial horses, working animals of many Department of Homeland Security organizations, and pets owned by service members. Corps members are an essential component of the military medical research team, contributing skills in the development of life-saving medical products that protect all service members."
Other Army veterinarians commissioned at the school in recent years are Robert Valentine (2011), Angelina Gerardo (2008), Nic Cabano (2003), Rachel Moulton (2001), and Daniel Leach (2000).
More about the Army Veterinary Corps, http://vetopportunities.amedd.army.mil/index.html