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Chapter IV

Contents

CHAPTER IV 

Personnel

In the Army of World War II that at one time (July 1944 through August 1945) exceeded 8 million personnel and had more than 56,000 horses and mules (during 1943), the Veterinary Service reached a peak strength of slightly over 2,100 veterinary officers and possibly more than 6,000 to 8,000 enlisted personnel. During the greater part of the war period, the veterinary officer-Army strength ratio was about 1:4,000.

COMPOSITION OF THE VETERINARY CORPS

The wartime Army Veterinary Service was composed of military personnel, both commissioned officer and enlisted personnel, and a relatively small group of civilian employees. The commissioned personnel were, with rare exception, male veterinary officers. At peak strength, their number approximated 15 percent of the Nation's total veterinary manpower. These veterinary officers were appointed in the statutory-defined components of the Army of the United States: (1) the Regular Army, (2) the Officers' Reserve Corps, (3) the National Guard-each such component including a Veterinary Section or Veterinary Corps, or (4) the Army of the United States, wherein officers were appointed without reference to a particular arm or service branch.1 Retired officers of the Regular Army comprised yet another category of the World War II veterinary officer strength (table 8).

Regular Army

The strength of the Veterinary Corps, Regular Army, fixed at 126 personnel space vacancies pursuant to congressional appropriations legislation after 1922, was unchanged throughout the war period, but its active-duty strength was permitted to decline to a low of 117 officers as of V-J Day and then to 109 veterinary officers within the next year (table 9). After July 1939, 10 officers were commissioned to maintain the Veterinary Corps, Regular Army, against personnel losses due to deaths, retirements, and resignations. The last of these appointments was made in 1943; in January 1944, the War Department ordered a general stoppage to original appointments of officers in the Regular Army. Although Regular Army officers who had been retired could be returned to active-duty status with or without their consent, not more than two such veterinary officers were called to duty at any time during World War II.

1Technically, the Regular Army, Reserve Corps, and National Guard veterinary officers were appointed into the Veterinary Corps of their respective components, but the Army of the United States veterinary officer was appointed as an officer of the Army generally and then detailed to duty with the Veterinary Corps.


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TABLE 8.-Composition of the Veterinary Corps, according to component, 1939-46

Periods

Total

Regular Army

Retired Regular Army

National Guard

Officers' Reserve Corps1

Prewar emergency periods:

30 June 1939

126

126

---

---

---

30 June 1940

151

126

---

---

25

30 June 1941

597

126

2

34

435

Near 7 Dec. 1941

695

124

2

28

541

War period:

31 Dec. 1941

716

126

2

33

555

30 June 1942

952

126

2

30

794

1 Jan. 1943

1,532

126

2

35

1,369

26 June 1943

1,839

126

2

29

1,682

1 Jan. 1944

2,039

125

2

28

1,884

1 July 1944

2,091

125

2

26

1,934

30 Dec. 1944

2,071

124

2

---

1,954

30 June 1945

2,108

120

2

---

1,986

Near V-J Day

2,171

117

2

---

2,052

Postwar period:

29 Dec. 1945

1,826

113

1

---

1,712

1 June 1946

1,050

109

1

---

940

28 Dec. 1946

695

176

---

---

519


1From 1 January 1943, includes AUS officers.
Sources: (1) Annual Reports of the Surgeon General, U.S. Army. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1939-41. (2) Reports, Veterinary Division, SGO, for annual reports of The Surgeon General, U.S. Army, 1942-45. [Official record.] (3) Crosby, J. F.: Procurement of Veterinary Officers, 1939-43. (4) Strength reports of Military Personnel Division, SGO. (5) Memorandum, Director, Military Personnel Division, SGO, for Col. G. F. Lull, SGO, 29 Oct. 1942.

Officers' Reserve Corps

The Veterinary Corps Reserve was the major source for officers in the active Army Veterinary Service during its expansion from the peacetime strength of 126 regular Veterinary Corps officers to a peak active-duty strength of 2,116 officers which was reached during World War II. The expansion progressed in an orderly manner, as contrasted with the situation in World War I, when no such reserve force came into existence until the summer-fall of 1917. Ten Reserve officers were initially ordered to 1 year's active military duty during the fall of 1939 pursuant to the congressional enactment of 3 April 1939 which provided for augmenting the active Army's defense forces in the Panama Canal Zone and for increasing the Air Corps (1, 2, 3). Additional Veterinary Reserve Corps officers were then brought into active service as subsequent military legislation increased the enlisted strength of the Regular Army, federalized the National Guard, and provided for the selective service (or draftee) Army. By the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor ( 7 December 1941 ), the active-duty strength of the Army Veterinary Service included 541 Veterinary Corps


35

TABLE 9.-Veterinary Corps, Regular Army, 1939-46


36

Reserve officers. Before the end of another year, the remainder were called to active duty, and thus, this Reserve personnel force was practically depleted.

The total strength of the Veterinary Corps Reserve ranged between 1,381 and 1,537 officers during the prewar emergency periods. This strength was not larger because of the limitations imposed by the War Department rather than the unwillingness of the Nation's civilian veterinary profession to support actively its military counterpart as in the past. On 8 December 1939 , the War Department suspended the appointment of additional officers in the Officers' Reserve Corps. However, certain exceptions were concurrently authorized so that the Veterinary Corps Reserve actually showed a net gain of 156 officers between 1 July 1939 and 30 June 1940 .

In December 1940, the year-long suspension order was amended to reopen appointment procedures, but only in those Medical Department sections of the Officers' Reserve Corps which had personnel space vacancies remaining in their current peacetime procurement objectives. The amended order found the Veterinary Corps Reserve to be in excess of its objective; this order had for its purpose the buildup of a reserve personnel force which was then estimated as being required during the period of war mobilization and until wartime officer procurement procedures could satisfy the veterinary officer needs. Under the conditions, additional Veterinary Reserve Corps officers were not appointed except under extraordinary grants of authorization which are described later.

Of course, the ordered stoppages of the Veterinary Corps Reserve did not gain support from the Surgeon General's Office which had recommended the continuation of its buildup. It was believed that physical disqualifications, resignations, deferments, and other personnel considerations would cause an estimated reduction (by 25 percent) in the reserve strength to 1,148 effective officers. Furthermore, the Surgeon General's Office believed that all Veterinary Reserve Corps officers would have to be ordered to active duty before the summer of 1942, and thus, no reserve force would be available to meet requirements after that time.

Over these protests, however, the War Department continued its general suspension orders against the further buildup of the Veterinary Corps Reserve. Though exceptions or waivers to the suspension orders were granted, as previously noted, these proved to be unimportant as they related to actually strengthening the Veterinary Reserve Corps. Instead, the waivers were granted only as a means of conserving a segment of the Nation's veterinary manpower which might have otherwise been called to duty in a nonprofessional capacity. This conservation action was extremely important. For example, a waiver was granted in the instance of 32 veterinary students who, pursuant to an authorization granted by the War Department, in August 1940, were transferred from their appointments in non-Medical Department sections of the Officers' Reserve Corps (which were being


37

ordered to active duty) to the MAC (Medical Administrative Corps) Reserve, whereby they were retained on inactive-duty status pending completion of their professional veterinary education. In May 1941, the War Department authorized 17 of these MAC officers to be conversion-transferred to the Veterinary Corps Reserve (4, 5, 6). In the same month, the War Department also encouraged those graduate veterinarians who were being inducted pursuant to the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 to apply for Veterinary Reserve Corps appointments, whereupon, if accepted, they were to be discharged from their enlisted status and then ordered to a 1-year tour of duty. After the fall of 1941, these applications by inducted veterinarians were regarded as being made for appointment as officers in the Army of the United States.

Military legislation and recurring congressional appropriations after 1920 prohibited the employment of a Reserve Corps officer on active duty for more than 15 days without the consent of the individual, except at such time as Congress declared a national emergency. No such emergency was declared until after the Pearl Harbor attack; on the other hand, Presidential proclamations of national emergency were made in the interim, and these were supported by congressional legislation which permitted the gradual entry of the Officers' Reserve Corps into active military status. Thus the congressional appropriations legislation contained in the act of 1 July 1939 referred to the existing prohibition on the pay of Reserve Corps officers on duty for more than 15 days each year but expressly provided for paying those, including 10 of the Veterinary Corps Reserve, who were to be ordered to 1-year tours of active duty in connection with the Regular Army augmentation and Air Corps expansion that were described in the Supplemental Appropriation Act of 3 April 1939. Later that year, the War Department planned for an increment of 10 more active-duty Veterinary Corps reservists. Their pay did not become available, however, until February 1940 when congressional appropriations legislation again made reference to expenditures which were exceptional to the pay of the Officers' Reserve Corps who were on active duty more than 15 days each year. This was more-or-less repeated in subsequent appropriations legislation until the fall of 1940 when no such limitation was prescribed.

In the meantime, the War Department, after its ordering of early increments of Reserve Corps officers to active duty with the Regular Army, indicated its intentions to use only those who volunteered, were in the grades of lieutenant or captain, and were under 35 years of age, and to permit them no extension of duty beyond an initial tour of 1 year. The same conditions governed the request which was made in May 1940 for five more Veterinary Corps Reserve officers; of course, their assignments were limited to stations in the continental United States unless they were assigned to duty with the Air Corps. During June 1940, the War Department authorized Reserve Corps officers to volunteer for foreign service and concurrently granted them


38

privileges to voluntarily extend their initial 1-year tour for an additional 1-year period. All of this was changed during the summer of 1940, as attention was directed to the increasing threat to American security which had come with the successes of the German armies in Europe and to the problems of federalizing the National Guard and developing and training America 's draftee Army.

Pursuant to the enactment approved on 27 August 1940 , Presidential authority was used in ordering Reserve Corps officers into active duty, with or without their consent, for a 12-month period, and in assigning them anywhere in the Western Hemisphere and in the territories and possessions of the United States. This marked the first time since World War I that the Officers' Reserve Corps came under compulsion to fulfill its real purpose. At the time, there were only 52 Veterinary Reserve Corps officers on active duty, but a total of 76 alone were needed in connection with the current Regular Army increases to 280,000 enlisted strength. Originally, the Surgeon General's Office conceded to individual requests for deferring orders, but as more and more Reserve Corps officers had to be ordered to active duty, the increased protests by these officers led to the following remark: "It is to be regretted that Reserve officers upon assuming occupational civilian responsibilities incompatible with their obligation as officers of a Reserve component of the Army, should not, prior to the current emergency, have taken timely steps to terminate their commissions" (5, 7, 8). However, the War Department authorized Reserve officers to resign their commissions before the end of March 1942, if they were occupying key positions in essential civilian industry, in Federal employment, or were members of faculties of civilian colleges. Unfortunately, the new law also authorized Reserve officers in the grade of captain and below, who had dependents, to resign their appointments on request within 20 days after entry into active duty. Thus, many Veterinary Reserve Corps officers were soon lost by their own resignation, and 178 others either terminated their appointment or were transferred to the Inactive Reserve.

In the fall of 1940, the War Department indicated that Reserve Corps officers would accompany the oversea movements of the units to which they might be assigned, regardless of their length of service, and authorized the oversea departments to satisfy their needs whenever possible by the ordering to duty of such officers who might be residing there. Though the new law of 27 August 1940 provided a technical means for the War Department to retain Reserve Corps officers who had previously volunteered for active duty by reordering them into a second 1-year tour, without their consent, the War Department generally refrained from keeping them beyond the initial duty tour except in the instance of those in the Air Corps or Medical Department Reserves who volunteered for a second tour. Then, pursuant to the Service Extension Act of 18 August 1941 , the active duty tours of Reserve Corps officers were extended to 18 months. During this


39

period, the War Department liberalized its policy on the assignment of Reserve officers to foreign service in the oversea insular departments, including Alaska, and to the defense bases which had been newly acquired in the Atlantic and Caribbean areas.

Shortly after 7 December 1941, the War Department terminated all of its prior policies regarding the release of the Officers' Reserve Corps from active service and indefinitely extended their tours of duty. This was confirmed by Public Law 338, 77th Congress, approved 13 December 1941, which suspended "during the existence of any war in which the United States is engaged and during the 6 months immediately following the termination of any such war" those earlier limitations which had been statutorily imposed on the periods of active service and territorial deployment of Reserve Corps officers.

National Guard

The National Guard, like the Officers' Reserve Corps, was a reserve component of the Army of the United States. Its induction (or federalization) into active military service was ordered by the President in 22 increments, over the period from 16 September 1940 to 23 June 1941, and was authorized by the same legislation that brought Reserve Corps officers to active duty with or without their consent; namely, Public Law 96, 76th Congress, approved 27 August 1940. The federalization of the National Guard augmented the active-duty strength of the pre-Pearl Harbor Veterinary Service by 37 officers (table 10). This number was approximately one-half of the National Guard veterinary officers a year earlier when it totaled 74.

After the mid-1930's, the trends in motorization of military units led to the removal of the office of division veterinarian in each of the 18 infantry divisions which were later inducted, and the horse-drawn field artillery regiments, with the exception of one, were converted into motorized units. Also, the veterinary company elements (12 in number in 1925 but reduced to 7 in 1939) of the National Guard medical regiments were converted into other type units so that only one remained active as of 30 June 1940, but none were brought into active duty. In September and October 1940, the National Guard's 4 cavalry divisions, 6 cavalry brigades, and 17 cavalry regiments were disbanded or converted into other type units, with the result that the only cavalry units to be federalized included a brigade, 2 (horse) regiments, and 7 (horse-mechanized) regiments. The veterinary officers accompanying these units, which were now dismounted and brought into active military service, were frozen in their National Guard assignments until the fall of 1941 when they could be reassigned to corps areas and certain installations in the Zone of Interior. Though the National Guard units were ordered into active service for a 1-year tour of duty, as was true also for the Officers' Reserve Corps, their tours of duty were extended to 18 months pursuant to the Service Extension Act of


40

18 August 1941, and then more-or-less indefinitely by the act approved 13 December 1941 .

TABLE 10.-Veterinary Corps, National Guard, 1939-44

Date

Total commissioned

Commissioned strength1

Ranks

Lieutenant colonel

Major

Captain

First lieutenant

Total:

30 June 1939

74

73

0

8

58

7

30 June 1940

68

64

0

5

50

9

30 June 1941

37

33

2

12

14

5

On active duty:

30 June 1939

0

---

---

---

---

---

30 June 1940

0

---

---

---

---

---

30 June 1941

34

---

---

---

---

---

Near 7 Dec. 1941

28

---

---

---

---

---

31 Dec. 1941

33

---

---

---

---

---

30 June 1942

30

---

9

10

6

5

1 Jan. 1943

35

---

---

---

---

---

26 June 1943

29

---

10

12

2

5

1 Jan. 1944

28

---

10

11

2

5

1 July 1944

26

---

10

10

1

5


1The discrepancy between the figures for the total number of commissions and the figures for commissioned strength is almost entirely due simply to the lag between dates of appointments and acceptances of appointments.
Sources: (1) Annual reports of the Surgeon General, U.S. Army. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1939-41. (2) Reports, Veterinary Division, SGO, for annual reports of the Surgeon General, 1942-46. [Official record.] (3) Crosby, J.F.: Procurement of Veterinary Officers, 1939-43. (4) Strength reports of Military Personnel Division, SGO. (5) Annual reports, Chief, National Guard Bureau, 1939-41.

Army of the United States

The requirements for officers additional to those of the Regular Army, Officers' Reserve Corps, and National Guard were met by the grant of officer appointments, directly into the Army of the United States, to the following categories of veterinarians: (1) Those who were inducted into the Army as enlisted men pursuant to the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940; (2) veterinarians direct from their civilian status; and (3) those who, as professional students in approved veterinary colleges, had voluntarily obligated themselves to military service by applying for appointment as second lieutenants, MAC, or by enlisting in the Medical Enlisted Reserve Corps and then continuing or completing their education while in a military status. Of course, as previously pointed out, these veterinarians were not appointed as Veterinary Corps officers per se but as officers in the wartime Army of the United States for duty with the Veterinary Corps. These officer appointments were authorized by Public Law 252, 77th Congress, approved 22 September 1941 .


41

Perhaps the first reference to the appointment of veterinary officers into the Army of the United States was contained in the statement of War Department policy regarding those veterinarians who, after May 1941, following their induction by the Selective Service System, were then being appointed, from their enlisted status, as officers in the Officers' Reserve Corps. This new policy, set forth during the fall of 1941, regarded inducted veterinarians who were then applying for officer status as actually making application for appointment in the Army of the United States . Then, during January 1942, The Surgeon General requested the establishment of a procurement objective for 100 veterinary officer appointments in the Army of the United States, 50 in the grade of first lieutenant to cover the appointments of inducted veterinarians, and the remaining number in the grades of captain and major for appointing certain specially qualified veterinarians direct from civilian life.

There is no record on the outcome of this recommendation; however, on 6 July 1942, the War Department authorized a procurement objective for 250 personnel space vacancies in the Army of the United States which were to be filled by the appointment only of those veterinarians who were being inducted into the Army as enlisted men. Later that year, this procurement objective was amended and augmented to total 1,124 personnel authorizations, and concurrently the sources or categories of veterinarians who could be procured were expanded to include direct appointments from civilian-status and military-obligated veterinarians. In October 1943, this procurement objective was canceled by the War Department General Staff, but appointing procedures were kept open for certain categories of veterinarians. On 12 December 1944, a procurement objective was reestablished for appointing 52 additional veterinary officers, and the veterinary personnel sources again were prescribed. After that time, reference was made to ceilings of veterinary officer personnel in the Army of the United States (rather than to procurement objective), and these total numbers were to be attained and maintained by additional appointments in the Army of the United States. (The ceilings included the Regular Army, Officers' Reserve Corps, and National Guard veterinary officers then on active duty.) Such a total ceiling for 2,150 officers was authorized by the War Department during April 1945; on 13 July 1945, this ceiling was raised to 2,327 personnel space authorizations in the wartime Army Veterinary Service. The established ceilings were not met before the end of the active war period. On 2 September 1945, the War Department ordered a cancellation on unfilled position vacancies in the existent ceiling, which brought a temporary halt to veterinary officer appointments in the Army of the United States.

Inducted Veterinarians

The veterinarians who were inducted into the Army proved to be a smaller source for veterinary officer procurement in World War II than was


42

anticipated. In fact, though more than 200 were inducted during the first 2 or 3 years of operation of the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, few were inducted into the Army as enlisted men during the latter part of the war period. Their induction (or draft) into the Army was the activity of the Selective Service System with its 64,000 or more, local draft boards which could enter almost any qualified male citizen into the military service. The deferment to groups of men by sole reason of occupation was illegal, but individuals could be, and were, deferred, each on his own individual merit, by reason of being engaged in, or in training and preparation for, certain occupations. Attempts to legislatively amend the act of 16 September 1940 to provide for the blanket deferment of certain medical occupations failed to gain headway; on the other hand, the National Headquarters, Selective Service System, advised (though it could not direct) the local draft boards on matters concerning the Nation's manpower situation in certain occupations and suggested that they adopt a policy of deferring individuals who were engaged in such occupations. Pursuant to the law, each local selective service board was autonomous in its deliberations on the deferment of any registrant under its jurisdiction.

Before the Selective Service System announced its intentions to defer individuals because of veterinary occupational activities, the Surgeon General's Office had impressed the War Department with the need to conserve and properly utilize so much of the Nation's veterinary manpower as might be inducted into the Army as enlisted men. Thus, during May 1941, the War Department granted authorization for veterinarians who were inducted to apply for veterinary officer appointments in the Officers Reserve Corps (9, 10). This was a specific exemption to the general stoppages on additional Reserve Corps appointments that had been ordered by the War Department more than a year before. In the fall of 1941, the War Department restated its policy that applications by the inducted veterinarians would be regarded as being made for officer appointments in the Army of the United States. On 6 July 1942, following the request of The Surgeon General, the War Department provided for a procurement objective of 250 personnel space authorizations in the Army of the United States which would cover the appointments of veterinarians who might be inducted. By that time, the Surgeon General's Office was reviewing the induction actions by the Selective Service System as comprising a source of veterinary officers who were needed in the expanding Army.

In November 1942, the number of inducted veterinarians had fallen far short of meeting both the Army's procurement objective and the increasing requirements for veterinary officers. In fact, by that time only 114 veterinary officers had been procured from this source, and in the interim another source of veterinarians had come into existence; namely, the recent graduates from civilian veterinary colleges who had gained original appointments as second lieutenants in the MAC, Army of the United States, and


43

had been kept on inactive-duty status while completing their professional education.

Thus the War Department amended, and then supplemented, the original procurement objective so that the unoccupied space authorizations could be filled from several categories of veterinarians: Those who might be inducted, those who had recently graduated while holding temporary appointments as MAC officers, and veterinarians appointed direct from civilian life. These sources for appointing additional veterinary officers in the Army of the United States were changed as these procurement objectives were changed at various times throughout the remainder of the war period, though, in all instances, inducted veterinarians were granted a priority for appointment in meeting the needs for additional veterinary officers. As of 31 December 1942 , the active-duty strength of the Veterinary Corps included 180 formerly inducted veterinarians, and, during 1943, another 46 were processed for officer appointments.

Local draft boards were advised by the National Headquarters, Selective Service System, during May 1941, that a dangerously low level of manpower existed in the Nation's veterinary profession and that the latter "* * * constitutes an activity essential to the national health, safety, and interest, and that a serious interruption or delay therein is likely to impede the national defense program" (11). The Selective Service policy and procedure statement was as follows:

The local board has the problem of deciding, subject to appeal, whether or not an individual veterinary is so necessary to a community that he should be deferred from training and service * * *. This problem should be approached with a clear appreciation of the overall national shortage and with the vital importance of the food and livestock industry to the national health, safety and interest, and the needs of the particular community for veterinary services clearly in mind. In classifying, the local board should give full weight to the fact that the Veterinary Corps Reserve is at present of sufficient strength to fill current Army needs. If, nevertheless, the local board determines that he should not be deferred, and he is finally placed in Class 1-A, it should call his attention to the following war Department instructions:

"Individuals who are qualified for appointment in the Veterinary Corps Reserve who have been inducted under the provisions of the Selective Training and Service Act of nineteen forty should be encouraged to apply for appointment in order that they may serve in a professional capacity. Individuals accepted for appointment will be discharged and ordered to extended active duty for a period of twelve consecutive months."

Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the National Headquarters, Selective Service System, restated the personnel shortages among the country's veterinary profession and requested that its field agencies, when considering nondeferment of veterinarians, consult with the Procurement and Assignment Service, a newly created agency which was surveying the medical personnel situations in localities throughout the United States (12, 13, 14). The spring of 1942 saw the issuance of the first of a series of occupational bulletins wherein the local draft boards were better advised on deferring


44

veterinarians from induction, and the War Manpower Commission was named as certifying authority of occupations which were critical.

The veterinarians in civilian life who were engaged in caring for food and draft animals or in the inspection of foods were described as being essential to agricultural activities and, in March 1943, also as essential in the Nation's health and welfare services. These actions resulted in lesser numbers of veterinarians being inducted into the Army but did not stop their induction. The early months of 1944 saw occupational deferments for individual veterinarians temporarily vacated when the Selective Service System intensified its efforts to induct personnel under 26 years of age in order to meet unexpectedly large quota demands by the Army for personnel. However, during April 1944, the Army's requirements were soon filled so that veterinarians in this particular age bracket were again granted deferment if found to be engaged in essential civilian activity.

Veterinarians in Civilian Status

Until the fall of 1942, veterinarians in full civilian status who were under no obligation to serve in the Armed Forces, other than that described in the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, were not a material part of the Army's veterinary officer procurement picture. In fact, by 31 December 1942, the active-duty strength of the Veterinary Corps (more than 1,500 officers) included only eight veterinarians who had been granted officer appointments direct from their civilian status-the remaining numbers, of course, being Regular Army, Officers' Reserve Corps, and National Guard veterinary officers, formerly inducted veterinarians, and a few ex-MAC officers. Then, pursuant to the authorizations granted by the War Department during November 1942 which provided for a total of 1,124 space vacancies in the Army of the United States without expressed restrictions on the sources of the veterinary personnel supply, the veterinarians in civilian status were entered into Army personnel procurement. During 1943, 104 such veterinarians were recommended for direct appointment. However, in September 1943, these personnel procurements were seriously questioned by the War Department General Staff, particularly, since it had become evident that there were more than sufficient numbers to meet present and immediate future needs from among military-obligated veterinarians (such as those graduating under the Army Specialized Training Program) and inducted personnel. The Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, replied to the inquiry that certain veterinarians with training or experience in specialized fields of veterinary medicine were needed and could not be obtained except by recruitment directly from the civilian veterinary profession.

In October 1943, the Secretary of War ordered a general cancellation on further procurements of officers direct from civilian life, but pursuant to his instructions "requests for the appointment of individuals with out-


45

standing qualifications and experience in special fields * * * may be submitted to the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1, who is authorized to waive the requirements of a procurement objective." This restriction on the procurement of veterinarians direct from civilian status was incorporated into every veterinary officer procurement objective and ceiling throughout the remaining war period. However, those veterinarians who, at one time during the war, were discharged from their original appointments in the MAC or their enlistments in the Medical Enlisted Reserve Corps (under the Army Specialized Training Program) were not regarded as being in this category of civilian status and thus were appointed. Veterinary officer procurement by the Army during World War II was, with the exception of an 11-month period (November 1942-October 1943), almost completely independent of withdrawals of personnel direct from the Nation's civilian veterinary profession except where such veterinarians had prior obligations for military service.

A special military agency, the Officer Procurement Service, was in operation in the particular period in which relatively large numbers of veterinarians in civilian status were appointed directly into the Army of the United States. This agency was established within the Army Service Forces (then named Services of Supply) during November 1942, under provisions of War Department Circular No. 367, 7 November 1942 . The Officer Procurement Service sought to procure veterinarians direct from their civilian status to satisfy stated requirements, accomplishing this through 30 officer procurement districts and processing them for appointment as officers. In this action, the Officer Procurement Service procured only those veterinarians declared available by the Procurement and Assignment Service (which was the same agency that was advising the Selective Service System against inducting professional personnel when they were engaged in essential civilian activities). Although an objective for 900 veterinarians was prescribed at the onset, in April 1943, the veterinary personnel procurement activities by the Officer Procurement Service were suspended on request by the Surgeon General's Office. At the same time, the Procurement and Assignment Service was asked to halt declarations of availability of veterinarians; however, the Officer Procurement Service continued to receive such declarations, but in June 1943 these were returned to Procurement and Assignment Service without further action. The request by the Surgeon General's Office was based on the fact that a sufficient number of applications had been received by April 1943 to meet the immediate needs. Then, during the fall of 1943, as previously noted, the War Department ordered a general stoppage on the procurement of officers direct from civilian status which, so far as veterinary officer procurement was concerned, was continued for the remainder of the war period.

The Procurement and Assignment Service, previously mentioned in the discussion on the induction of veterinarians into the Army and then again


46

briefly in connection with the Army's procurement of veterinary officers direct from civilian life, was a quasi-official civilian Federal agency. It operated to provide a three-way allocation of the Nation's veterinary man­power: to the Army, to nonmilitary Federal agencies, and to civilian activities and occupations which were essential to the war effort. Thus, a major share of its operations are outside of the scope of the current history on military veterinarians. This agency only provided advisory services; basically, it was not a personnel procurement service nor one having assignment responsibilities. Both the Selective Service System and the Army (including its Officer Procurement Service) recognized the advisory responsibilities of the Procurement and Assignment Service as early as January 1942 so that the induction action by one, or the procurement action by the other, would not deplete the medical, dental, and veterinary professional personnel from civilian industry and local populations; before one or the other took action on the withdrawal of personnel from civilian life, they requested clearance for each such personnel from the Procurement and Assignment Service.

The Procurement and Assignment Service was created 30 October 1941 within the Office of Defense, Health, and Welfare Services, Executive Office of the President, and, during April 1942, was transferred to the Office for Emergency Management where it operated under the War Manpower Commission for the remainder of the active war period. Regarding its advisory activities on veterinary personnel matters, this agency included civilian veterinarians at nearly all levels of its organization: A veterinary consultant to the director, a five-member veterinary advisory committee to the central directing board, and a field consultant office which maintained liaison with the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Military-Obligated Veterinary Students

During World War II, veterinary officer procurement was assured and facilitated by the current output from the Nation's civilian veterinary colleges of undergraduate students who had voluntarily obligated themselves to military service upon completion of their professional education. Beginning in April 1942, more than 1,800 veterinary students were, on their own application, granted appointments as MAC officers in the Army of the United States for retention on an inactive-duty status, until they completed their education, when they became eligible for conversion transfer as veterinary officers and were then ordered to active duty. This student appointing procedure was discontinued in early 1943. Under a new program, the ASTP (Army Specialized Training Program), that lasted for about a year, the students were voluntarily enlisted in the Medical Enlisted Reserve Corps and then ordered to active duty to continue or complete their education at Government expense. Those completing their education while under the auspices of the ASTP immediately became eligible for discharge and subsequent appointment as veterinary officers. The two programs, as will be


47

described, were established with distinctly separate objects or purposes, but their combined veterinary personnel output was eventually regarded only as one that would satisfy the requirements of the Army for veterinary officers. Like the inducted veterinarians (after the fall of 1941) and those who were appointed directly from civilian status, the graduated students were appointed in the Army of the United States.

The first of the two wartime programs was established principally to conserve the student populations in medical, dental, and veterinary schools against the threat of induction by the Selective Service System. However, even before the selective service legislation was passed (on 16 September 1940) and the concerned agency could show its intentions not to completely disrupt the various professional educational systems, the Surgeon General's Office had become particularly interested in conserving or retaining professional students in their schools until they had graduated or had become qualified for appointment as Medical Department officers. For example, in December 1939, the Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, was engaged in studies on a proposal to arrange for the completion of undergraduate and postgraduate training of students in medicine, dentistry, and veterinary medicine during mobilization. During April 1940, the War Department provided authorization for students in approved professional schools who held non-Medical Department Reserve officer appointments to transfer, at some later date, to the MAC Reserve for assignment and retention on inactive-duty status until graduation, when they became eligible for appointment in the Medical, Dental, or Veterinary Corps Reserve. Thus, in August 1940, arrangements were completed for the transfer of 32 veterinary students who held nonmedical Reserve Corps appointments into the MAC Reserve and for their retention on inactive-duty status until they had graduated and had become eligible for conversion appointment into the Veterinary Corps Reserve. (At least 17 of these were named for conversion appointment upon their graduation from the veterinary schools in mid­1941.) During February 1941, after passage of the selective service legislation, The Surgeon General requested authorization for temporarily appointing into the MAC Reserve, the medical, dental, and veterinary students who were in the junior and senior classes of the professional schools, but the request was disapproved by the War Department (15) on the following basis

* * * such action would constitute special treatment for a particular class of students which would result in exempting them from Selective Service.

Exemption from Selective Service cannot be justified for any particular group unless it can be clearly demonstrated that the personnel of the group will be required in key positions in industries essential to the national defense.

However, on 17 April 1942 , the War Department reversed its policy with respect to veterinary students and authorized the appointment of any or all male students in approved veterinary schools as second lieutenants in the MAC, Army of the United States. These students were given certain


48

assurances of being retained on inactive-duty status until they had completed their professional education when they would become eligible for conversion appointment and would be ordered to active duty as first lieutenant veterinary officers. The authorization for this appointing procedure lasted about 10 months and was discontinued on 8 February 1943 (16, 17). So far as is known, 1,847 veterinary students were temporarily appointed, on their own application, as MAC officers. These appointments were terminated for convenience of the Government under the following prescribed circumstances: (1) Matriculation in a nonapproved veterinary school; (2) discontinuance of veterinary education; (3) failure to successfully complete the 4-year veterinary curriculum; and (4) failure to gain conversion appointment as veterinary officers within 3 months following graduation. Later in the spring­summer of 1943, a great many of these veterinary students, who had not yet graduated, voluntarily terminated their appointments in order to enlist in the Medical Enlisted Reserve Corps and to continue their professional education under the auspices of the ASTP.

This program, it must be emphasized, was not enthusiastically endorsed by the Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office. Before the program was launched, this Division pointed out that (1) the Selective Service System logically should defer veterinary students; (2) the continued flow of newly graduated veterinarians into the Nation's civilian profession would well be disrupted if all of the appointees were to be called to active duty; and (3) if, on the other hand, veterinary students were to be commissioned in the MAC Reserve for the purpose of permitting them to complete their professional education, it should be clearly and definitely provided that upon graduating in veterinary medicine they would be absorbed into the Veterinary Corps only to the extent indicated by military necessity and that those not taken into the Veterinary Corps for active service would be discharged from their MAC commissions and made available for civilian service. Apparently, the emphasis on the latter point was not sufficiently understood because, during May 1942, the War Department asked corps area commanders to appoint all fourth-year veterinary students holding MAC appointments into the Army of the United States as of the date of graduation. Before this action could be taken, the Surgeon General's Office successfully recommended that only such number would be so appointed as might be needed to satisfy position vacancies in any procurement objective which might be established for veterinary officers. No procurement objective existed at the time.

During November 1942, the War Department for the first time provided for the graduated students who held these appointments to be conversion­appointed as veterinary officers to satisfy current personnel procurement objectives. Between 1 January and 31 March 1943 , the number of such graduates was 130, and another 287 students were scheduled for graduation and would become eligible for conversion appointment before the end of


49

June 1943. By the fall of the same year, there were 177 such veterinarians, including a few who were scheduled to graduate before 31 December 1943, on whom no personnel actions were taken with respect to conversions from their MAC appointments. As against these numbers of potential veterinary officers, 211 were conversion-appointed as veterinary officers during 1943­46 percent of the total veterinary officer procurements for the year. On 8 February 1943 , when the procedure of appointing veterinary students as second lieutenants, MAC, in the Army of the United States was discontinued, the War Department was planning to activate the ASTP (16). This program placed emphasis on utilizing civilian educational facilities to train student personnel in certain professional and scientific fields at Government expense in order to assure that the Army's requirements for such personnel would be met; otherwise, the Army's requirements would have to be met, if at all, by withdrawals of personnel from the Nation's manpower who, in these fields, were becoming more and more essential to civilian industry and activity as the war progressed. The second program differed from the former program in that the participating students were enlisted (in the grade of private) in the Medical Enlisted Reserve Corps, were physically qualified for military service, and were actually ordered to active duty in the military unit which was established at the veterinary school where they continued their professional education; their tuition was paid for by the Government, and they were given the same pay and emoluments as were authorized any other Medical Department men. There was no intention to influence the standards or curricula of the Nation's civil veterinary educational system.

When questioned in regard to the need for establishing this program to supply veterinary officers, The Surgeon General, then faced with requirements for more than a thousand officers, suggested that the number of veterinary students then holding MAC officer appointments, if permitted to apply for continuance of their professional education under the auspices of the ASTP, would undoubtedly be sufficient to supply loss replacements and additional requirements for several years beyond 1943. There was little observable need to establish such a specialized training program for pre-professional veterinary students. Subsequently, on 29 April 1943, the War Department announced its intentions to begin this training for veterinarians, as well as for physicians and dental surgeons, and by mid-1943, contracts were entered into for the ASTP at 10 approved civilian veterinary schools (18).2 Training was restricted to Medical Enlisted Reserve Corps students who had been accepted by the schools prior to their call to active duty (on 30 June 1943) and to those students who were inducted. By the spring of

2The veterinary schools were those at Alabama Polytechnic Institute, Auburn, Ala.; Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo.; Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, Ames, Iowa; Kansas State College of Agriculture and Applied Science, Manhattan, Kans.; Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.; University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.; Agriculture and Mechanical College of Texas, College Station, Tex.; and State College of Washington, Pullman, Wash.


50

1944, enlistments in the Medical Enlisted Reserve Corps totaled 1,396 students (or 80 percent of the students in approved veterinary schools), including 350 to 400 seniors due to graduate before the end of December of that year. This number included the majority of the students originally appointed as MAC officers who had been permitted to terminate their appointments in order to enlist in the new program; however, there were another 200 such officer students who retained their appointments because they were not physically qualified to enlist or were enjoying their officer status.

Shortly after the beginning of the ASTP, Headquarters, Army Service Forces, and the Surgeon General's Office jointly developed a schedule for the disposition of trainees, upon graduation or otherwise, as follows:

The training of trainees under the auspices of the ASTP would be terminated upon receipt of the degree.

Students, 60 days prior to graduation, would apply for appointment as first lieutenant, Army of the United States-the dean of the veterinary college being asked to certify the date that students would be granted their degrees. Letters of appointment would be issued by The Adjutant General, effective on the date of graduation.

Trainees appointed in the Veterinary Corps, Army of the United States, were to be discharged from their enlisted status and "ordered to active duty only in such numbers as may be required to meet current requirements for filler and loss replacements." This policy was soon changed (in August 1943) by the War Department without reference of the matter to the Surgeon General's Office. It then provided that: "Trainees who graduate in veterinary medicine under the Army Specialized Training Program and for whom no vacancies exist will be discharged from their enlisted status for the convenience of the Government effective the day of graduation and will be issued a certificate of capacity and subsequently appointed in the Veterinary Corps, Army of the United States, when and if vacancies become available." Essentially, the Surgeon General's Office lost control over those who graduated and were discharged, because no procedure was adopted to record the addresses at which the graduates could be reached. The Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, especially desired that the graduates from the ASTP be appointed as veterinary officers and retained as such on inactive-duty status until needed. Actually, the graduated veterinarians then reverted to civilian status and returned to military service only if they volunteered or were inducted by the Selective Service System.

In October 1943, a review of the veterinary officer procurements during the previous year showed that the graduate output from the original program and the successor ASTP had not been used alone in appointing additional officers and was, and would be, in considerable excess to veterinary officer requirements. Therefore, the War Department generally curtailed veterinary officer procurement except with respect to the recently


51

graduated veterinarians who held MAC appointments or had participated in the ASTP. These military-obligated veterinarians, as well as veterinarians who were inducted, comprised the major source for veterinary officers during the remainder of the war period. When the surplus of military-obligated veterinarians had become evident, there were suggestions that they be transferred to the Army Ground Forces or that all be appointed as veterinary officers and ordered to duty as needed, but opposing views were taken by the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1 (Personnel) and The Surgeon General. In consequence, the ASTP for veterinary students was brought to an abrupt halt; such training for freshman, sophomore, and junior veterinary students was terminated with the end of academic terms which had been started prior to 22 May 1944, but the senior students were authorized to continue in the program until their graduation. No veterinarian ever received much more than 1 year's professional education at Government expense under the ASTP. Of the 1,676 students who had entered into the program, 588 graduated while holding enlistment in the Medical Enlisted Reserve Corps; of the latter number, 143 only were discharged for immediate appointment in the Army of the United States-these during the period from August 1943 to December 1944. The remainder were discharged only to be brought back to active military service direct from civilian status at a later date; some volunteered or were inducted before the end of the war.

Although these veterinary student conservation programs were the subject of all kinds of criticism, there can be no question that the Army at least insured itself that its requirements for veterinarians would be met with the least possible disruption to the existing established civilian veterinary services. On the other hand, there was the question that possibly the Selective Service System could have indirectly accomplished the same effect. For example, the selective service legislation originally provided for the deferment of any students during the academic year of 1940-41 or until 1 July 1941. Then, before the expiration date of this legislatively authorized deferment, the Selective Service System set up procedures to grant 6-month deferments, with periodic renewals, to individuals who were in training or in preparation for an occupational activity which was essential to the national health, safety, or interest. Subsequently, on 12 May 1941, the National Headquarters, Selective Service System, expressly informed its local draft boards on the civilian veterinary educational system and its student input and advised that it was "* * * of paramount importance that the supply be not only maintained but encouraged to grow, and that no student who gives reasonable promise of becoming a qualified veterinary doctor be called to military service before attaining that status." During the next year, veterinary students generally seemed to escape induction into the Armed Forces because almost all held letters from the deans of the veterinary schools regarding their academic standing and intentions of continuing their professional education. However, there were a few instances where draft boards located near


52

the veterinary schools insisted on induction of students who were registered at their permanent residence outside of those boards' areas or in another State. In December 1942, the Selective Service System took note that the War Manpower Commission had certified veterinary students as a critical occupation, and the local draft boards were advised:

A registrant who is in training and preparation as a * * * veterinary * * * student in a recognized * * * school of veterinary medicine * * * shall be considered for occupational classification during the period of such professional course, provided he is a full time student in good standing in such course of study and if it is certified by the institution that he is competent and that he gives promise of the successful completion of such course of study and acquiring the necessary degree of training, qualification or skill to become a recognized * * * doctor of veterinary medicine. * * *

Actually, the value or effectiveness of the procedures and policies of the Selective Service System regarding the deferment of veterinary students was lost to the Army's own program of student conservation in which a large share of the Nation's veterinary student population had voluntarily obligated themselves to military service by gaining temporary appointment as MAC officers or by enlisting in the Medical Enlisted Reserve Corps. However, in May 1944, with the discontinuance of the ASTP and the discharge of nearly all students from their enlistment, the Selective Service System gained its first real opportunity to show its intentions to continue the flow of students through the civilian educational system. Unfortunately, just before this time, the Selective Service System began to emphasize the induction of personnel in the younger age groups and began to give less regard to occupation as a factor of student deferment than it had in the past. In fact, for about 1 week in April 1944, the Selective Service System had removed deferment status of all students who were between 18 and 25 years of age; this action, bringing chaos to the veterinary profession, threatened to empty the veterinary schools of students other than those who had voluntarily obligated themselves to military service (that is, those holding MAC officer appointments or those enlisting under the ASTP). By 11 April 1944, the Selective Service System returned to the granting of deferment status to veterinary students who were pursuing full-time courses of professional education in the Nation's recognized veterinary schools until their graduation. This situation was unchanged during the remainder of the war period, even though the students were in the age group which was especially sought for in the induction activities of the Selective Service System.

VETERINARY OFFICER PROCUREMENT

Veterinary officer procurement or development of the wartime Veterinary Corps will be described in chronological sequence of the major events and circumstances which saw its number reach a peak active-duty strength of 2,116 officers by the end of August 1945. Table 11 shows the official monthly accessions of veterinary officers for the period from June 1939


53

through December 1945, the last few months of this period marking the start of demobilization. Because it was composed of the variety of categories of veterinary officers, as stated previously, veterinary officer procurement obviously was a complex procedure. There were so many facets to each personnel procurement procedure that the lack of a full understanding of what was being done at times led to criticism. For example, reference may be made to the ASTP and to the subsequent disposition policy for the outright discharge from their voluntary enlistment in the Medical Enlisted Reserve Corps of the many veterinarians who received a part of their professional education at Government expense. Though the Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, had recommended that the current graduates be appointed as veterinary officers and then held on inactive-duty status until needed elsewhere within the War Department, this recommendation failed to gain headway because these officers, as a great many others, were being counted against the Nation's manpower allocation to the Army. Personnel procurement procedures were also complex for the reason that the Nation's veterinary profession and its manpower potential (or students) were numerically inadequate even before the onset of World War II and would not have been able to absorb any imbalances in their distribution between the Army and the civilian activities essential to national defense. Adding to the complexity was the fact that procedures on veterinary officer procurement were not evolved by a single central office but were the results of recommendations made by the Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office. This Division necessarily presented viewpoints on the effects of such procedures on the civilian veterinary profession and the evaluation of such recommendations by the personnel offices within the Surgeon General's Office, the Army Service Forces, and the War Department General Staff; the views of one or the other were almost always necessarily arbitrated.

The beginning expansion of the Army Veterinary Service in World War II from its regular Veterinary Corps strength of 126 officers had its origin with Public Law 18, 76th Congress, approved 3 April 1939, and the supporting appropriations legislation. These provided for the increase on 1 July 1939 of the Regular Army enlisted strength from 174,000 to 210,000 men or, more specifically, for an expansion of the Air Corps and augmentation of the defense forces in the Panama Canal Zone. The War Department then planned a concurrent increase in the Army's officer strength, but recommendations for increasing the existing personnel authorization for the Veterinary Corps, Regular Army, were not favorably considered. Instead, within the limits of the appropriations that became available, planning centered about the ordering of Veterinary Corps Reserve officers who would volunteer for a year's tour of duty with the Regular Army. An allotment for 192 Medical Department reservists was initially authorized, and, although this made no particular reference to Veterinary Corps Reserve officers, the War Department on 13 July 1939 advised corps area commanders


54-55

TABLE 11.-Officers ordered to active duty in the Veterinary Corps, by component, 1939-451


56

to solicit such officers as were under their jurisdiction who would volunteer (19). Ten of these officers were to be ordered to extended active duty until 30 June 1940, when the existing appropriations were legally discontinued. A few months later, at the outbreak of war on the European Continent, the President's proclamation of 8 September 1939, on the limited emergency, carried with it the expansion of the Regular Army to a new authorized strength of 227,000 enlisted men. Planning within the War Department then called for ordering 508 additional Medical Department Reserve Corps officers, expressly including 10 for the Veterinary Service, into a 1-year tour of duty with the Regular Army. However, these 10 additional Veterinary Reserve Corps officers were not ordered to such duty until sometime in early 1940 when congressional appropriations became available. This second increment of 10 Reserve Corps officers were assigned so as to release certain regular Veterinary Corps officers from their routine station duties for participation in the army corps and field army maneuvers which were being conducted during the next few months.

During February 1940, new planning within the War Department centered on further augmentation of the Regular Army to 280,000 enlisted men and on the ordering of additional Reserve Corps officers to active duty (20). However, on 1 July 1940, before the new plan became effective, the Surgeon General's Office, urgently needing veterinary officers to inspect the food supply which was being developed in connection with the grand four­army maneuvers taking place in the fall of the year, was granted authorization to bring a few Veterinary Reserve Corps officers for 28-day tours of duty at four Army camps. On 31 May 1940, the War Department authorized five more Veterinary Corps Reserve officers to be ordered immediately to 1-year tours of extended active duty with the Regular Army (21). As of 30 June 1940, the active-duty strength of the Veterinary Corps was 151 officers: 126 regulars and 25 reservists. Just before this date, planning for the Regular Army at 280,000 strength was brought to its final stage by congressional appropriations legislation, becoming effective on 1 July; 52 new personnel space vacancies were authorized to be filled by Veterinary Reserve Corps officers after the effective date. Even before this troop increase became effective, supplementary congressional appropriations legislation further augmented the Regular Army to 375,000 enlisted men (22).

The Surgeon General's Office in August 1940 was studying Medical Department personnel requirements for a 1½ million man force which was to be reached by mid-1941. The study placed veterinary personnel requirements for this paper army at 1,230 officers, as follows:

Planned size of Army

Veterinary officers

Current Regular Army (375,000 men)

404

Fall of 1940:

Federalization of National Guard (235,000 men)

188

Induction under Selective Service (320,000 men)

246

Spring of 1941: Induction or draft (475,000 men)

392


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During August and September 1940, two separate laws provided for the changeover from the so-called volunteer Army to the draftee Army which was needed for the national defense. These enactments included the one, approved on 27 August 1940, which authorized the President, as Commander in Chief, to order the reserve components of the Army of the United States into the active military service of the United States, with or without their consent, and the other, the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, which set in motion the system for inducting or drafting men into the Armed Forces.

As the 1940-41 military program was launched, the federalization of the National Guard, during the period from 16 September 1940 to 23 June 1941, brought 37 veterinary officers to active duty. During November 1940, two retired Regular Army officers were returned to active duty with the Veterinary Corps. However, the pattern of ordering additional Veterinary Reserve Corps officers to duty was now lost in the maze of War Department allotments, reallocations, and amended ones which authorized corps area commanders, department commanders, and chiefs of the arms and services to call to active duty certain numbers of Reserve Corps officers who were under their jurisdiction for assignment. During October-November 1940, allocations were divided between the corps area commanders in the Zone of Interior for ordering 148 Veterinary Reserve Corps officers to duty in connection with the augmentation of the Regular Army to 375,000 enlisted men and for another 110 (later reduced to 60) officers in connection with the federalization of the National Guard (with more than 300,000 officers and enlisted personnel) (23, 24, 25). As of 30 June 1941, the active-duty strength of the Veterinary Corps included 435 of the Officers' Reserve Corps, 34 of the National Guard, and 128 Regular Army and retired officers, a total of 597.

During the last few months before 7 December 1941, the War Department continued its programming on the ordering of additional Reserve Corps officers to active duty. Allotments were being made which were to be filled by 30 June 1942, and they specified not only the numbers but also the numbers by grade; Regular Army officers too were included in the allotments. Of course, these allotments were constantly reviewed and repeatedly changed. At about this time, almost all allotments previously provided for the War Department overhead were converted to allotments to the new Army Service Forces (then named Services of Supply); within this command, the various chiefs of the Army technical or supply services were granted allotments for certain numbers of veterinary officers: 30 to The Surgeon General, 152 to The Quartermaster General and general depot service, 4 to the Chief Signal Officer, 2 to the Chief of Chemical Warfare Service, and 1 to the Chief of Engineers. Veterinary officers, occupying these positions, were under the direct control of the respective chief of service; the Surgeon General's Office had as much jurisdiction over them as it exercised over the hundreds of


58

veterinary officers who were on duty with the corps area service commands, oversea departments, Army Air Forces, and Army Ground Forces. As of 30 June 1942, the active-duty strength of the Veterinary Corps (at 952 officers) was proportionally distributed as follows: 69.3 percent with service forces, 16.2 percent with ground or combat troops, and the remaining 14.5 percent with the Army Air Forces (26).

Throughout this period, the reserve components of the Army of the United States were not materially augmented. The only additions to the Veterinary Corps Reserve were the veterinarians who were inducted and those who as students had been voluntarily transferred to the MAC Reserve, pending the completion of their professional education, when they would become available for conversion transfer and order to duty as veterinary officers. During the fall of 1941, pursuant to congressional legislation, the Army provided for the appointment of additional officers directly into the Army of the United States; though some few inducted veterinarians, who were then applying for Reserve Corps appointments as in the past, may have been considered as making application for appointment in the Army of the United States, this procedure was not officially prescribed until 7 months after the Pearl Harbor attack. On 6 July 1942, after a request, originating with the Surgeon General's Office, the War Department provided for an officer personnel procurement objective of 250 space vacancies in the Army of the United States that would be satisfied only by the appointment of veterinarians who might be inducted into the Army as enlisted men by the Selective Service System.

In April 1942, preceding the establishment of this procurement objective, the War Department started its program to conserve the veterinary manpower potential contained in the student bodies at the civilian veterinary schools against the action of the Selective Service System-that is, granting temporary appointments to male veterinary students in approved schools as second lieutenants in the MAC, Army of the United States (27). These students were retained on inactive-duty status, free from the Selective Service System, until completion of their education when they became eligible for conversion transfer and order to active duty as veterinary officers. Those who graduated and failed to gain conversion transfer within 3 months were discharged from their appointments in the Army of the United States. However, lacking information that might show otherwise, it is believed that not many of such graduated veterinarians were conversion transferred and were brought into the Army until after November 1942.

Since not as many veterinarians were inducted into the Army as had been anticipated, this source fell far short of filling the existing procurement objective of 250 and the increasing requirements for Army veterinary officers. By November 1942, a little over 100 officer appointments were made in the Army of the United States from inducted veterinarians, and the Veterinary Officers' Reserve Corps was now practically depleted. There remained only 28 physically disqualified personnel not on active duty. On 17 November


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1942, the Surgeon General's Office requested the War Department to cancel the unexpended portion (or 146 personnel space vacancies) in the current procurement objective for veterinary officer appointments in the Army of the United States and to provide for a new objective, without restriction on the personnel sources and in some few grades higher than that of first lieutenant, totaling 1,124 space authorizations. These changes were believed to be necessary to satisfy the increasing requirements for veterinary officers, to obtain veterinarians direct from civilian life who were specially qualified and for whom appointments in the higher grades would be made, to provide for the appointment of inducted veterinarians who could be inducted into the Army as enlisted men as in the past, and to provide for the conversion appointment of newly graduated veterinarians who were completing their professional education while holding appointment (on an inactive-duty status) as second lieutenants in the MAC, Army of the United States. In two successive actions taken during November 1942, the War Department amended the 6 July 1942 procurement objective by removing the restriction (concerning inducted veterinarians) for filling the unexpended 146 personnel space vacancies and by supplementing it with an additional 978 space authorizations (28, 29). As of 31 December 1942, the Veterinary Corps active-duty strength totaled 1,532 officers, comprising 126 of the Regular Army, 2 retired officers recalled to duty, 35 of the National Guard, and 1,369 of the Officers' Reserve Corps or appointees in the Army of the United States-the latter including 180 formerly inducted veterinarians.

During 1943, the program of conserving the students in approved veterinary schools against the threatening induction action by the Selective Service System was discontinued to the extent that additional MAC appointments could not be made after 8 February 1943. In its place, by 1 July 1943, a veterinary specialized training program was established at the approved veterinary schools in the United States; its object was to insure that sufficient numbers of students would be educated (at Government expense) and graduated to meet the Army requirements for veterinarians. In fact, the numbers of graduates and students in veterinary medicine, having then, or sometime in the future, an obligation to serve in the Army, soon became numerically excess to the immediate Army needs. The surplus was increased rather than diminished because the Surgeon General's Office and the Officer Procurement Service had emphasized the procurement, since the winter of 1942-43, of veterinarians direct from their civilian status. In the fall of 1943, the War Department General Staff had cause to inquire into the veterinary officer procurement situation, particularly, with respect to reasons for not more fully using those sources of personnel who had certain obligations to the Army, as follows (30):

A few months ago this Division was advised by The Surgeon General that since the Army had more veterinarians than required it would not be possible to order to active duty and properly employ any material number of veterinarians who hold reserve commissions. In spite of this it is noted that appointments from civil life and from the


60

enlisted ranks are still being made in the Veterinary Corps. If the requirements have been met, there appears to be no justification for continuing to appoint veterinarians. If there is still a shortage, requirements should be met by using veterinarians commissioned in the Reserve Corps [sic] who are graduating from colleges. In this connection it is noted that the ASTP has 1,399 students enrolled in veterinary courses.

At about this time, the Veterinary Corps strength was 1,981 officers, new appointments having been given during the past 7 months (or from March through August 1943) to 39 veterinarians who were inducted into the Army as enlisted men and to 110 veterinarians direct from civilian life. The Veterinary Reserve Corps was depleted. However, there was a potential source of 362 veterinarians by the end of 1943, as follows:

Appointments in Medical Administration Corps, Army of the United States:

Recent graduate veterinarians under current option for call to active duty

70

Veterinary students expected to graduate prior to 31 December 1943

107

Enlisted in the Army Specialized Training Program:

Recent graduate veterinarians under current option for call to active duty

13

Veterinary students expected to graduate prior to 31 December 1943

172


The Army Service Force Headquarters, which had compiled this information on veterinary officer procurement, then suggested that these individuals be commissioned in the Army of the United States as veterinary officers but retained on inactive-duty status until required. However, in a review of its operations and policies, the Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, advised (31):

After the Veterinary Corps Reserve had been substantially all utilized, additional requirements have been met by commissioning from the following categories and reasons therefore are indicated:

(a) Inducted Veterinarians. With an overall shortage of veterinarians in the United States it is highly important in the interest of our livestock and dairy industries to conserve veterinary talent. The commissioning of the qualified veterinarian who is not deferred by his draft board but inducted into the Army saves taking one from civil life or releases a new graduate for civil use.

(b) New Graduates Holding Medical Administrative Corps Commissions. Conversion commissions have been granted as many of these graduates as existing or anticipated vacancies permitted, giving equal consideration to all accredited colleges, the relative proficiency of graduates, and further considering the necessity of making some appointments of individuals who have had post-graduate experience or special training.

(c) Civilian Veterinarians. It has been necessary and desirable to meet a proportion of new requirements by the appointment of some veterinarians from civil life. Such appointments have been made to meet requirements during periods between graduating classes or when the number of individuals it is desired to appoint from a particular graduating class or classes is insufficient to meet immediate needs. Then, many requisi­tions for veterinary officers, especially from overseas theaters, are for individuals who have had considerable post-graduate experience in various phases of meat, meat-food and dairy products inspection activities. Further, it is essential to obtain a number of veterinarians with training and experience in various other specialties in the veterinary field. These cannot all be met by the recent graduate.

(d) A.S.T.P. Graduates. It is contemplated that with the exception of the appointment of a few veterinarians from civil life with post-graduate experience and training in veterinary specialties, the greater percentage of future vacancies will be filled by the appointment of graduates trained in veterinary medicine under the Army Specialized  


61

Training Program. There will probably still be a few inducted veterinarians who, for the reasons indicated in (a) above, should be considered for commissions.  

* * * * *

With regard to future requirements for veterinary officers it is well nigh impossible to estimate future needs with any degree of accuracy. This is because it is not simply a case of estimating under approved Tables of Organization for tactical units or on the basis of so many veterinary officers per thousand troops. Veterinary officers requisitioned for food inspection activities are frequently called for in irregular numbers, based on local situations. This is especially true in foreign theaters but likewise applies to a considerable extent in the United States. In order, therefore, to meet requirements as they arise and not have a large surplus of officers in pools for which vacancies may not develop within a reasonable time, it has been the policy of this office to recommend for commission and immediate active duty relatively small groups at irregular intervals. It is believed that this plan should be continued.

As this inquiry was coming to a close, the Secretary of War ordered a general cessation of procurement of officer personnel direct from civilian life; however, exceptions were specifically provided in the instance of physicians, dentists, chaplains, pilots, and individuals with outstanding qualifications and experience in special fields (32). As might be expected, the War Department on 26 October 1943 canceled the existing procurement objective for additional veterinary officer appointments except to provide: (1) For a one­time and last-time opportunity for the conversion appointment of 177 veterinarians and students scheduled to graduate before 31 December 1943, who were holding MAC appointments; (2) for continuing the existing policies relating to the discharge or appointment of students graduating while under the auspices of the ASTP; (3) for appointing inducted veterinarians; and (4) any civilian veterinarian with special training or unusual experience not possessed by recent veterinary graduates and whose procurement was approved by the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1 (Personnel) of the War Department. By the end of December 1943, the active-duty strength of the Veterinary Corps totaled 2,039 officers, which was a net gain of more than 500 personnel since 31 December 1942. During 1943, 62 Veterinary Reserve Corps officers were called to active duty, and officer appointments were recommended by the Surgeon General's Office for 462 veterinarians (although 916 applications were processed). These included 46 who had been inducted, 221 holding original appointments as MAC officers, 80 graduating while under the auspices of the ASTP, 104 veterinarians direct from civilian status, and 11 veterinarians who were commissioned in some branch of the Army other than the Medical Department. Most of these appointments were made during the earlier part of the year or prior to the 26 October 1943 cancellation of the veterinary officer procurement objective. During the next year (January through December 1944), veterinary officer appointments totaled only 73.

The personnel directive of 26 October 1943 governed veterinary officer procurement for more than 14 months or until December 1944. The 150 to 160 appointments which were made during this time sufficed to keep the Veterinary Corps strength at little more than 2,000 officers and were generally  


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limited to graduate veterinarians who as professional students had held commissions in the MAC and to those who had completed their professional education while under the auspices of the ASTP. In answer to an application for 83 additional veterinary officers, by the Surgeon General's Office during November 1944, the War Department General Staff on 12 December 1944 authorized the appointment of 52 more veterinary officers in the grade of first lieutenant in the Army of the United States but expressly defined the sources of these as follows:

a. Those enlisted men and forthcoming graduates of Army Specialized Training Program whom The Surgeon General considered best qualified for appointment.

b. Veterinarians from civil life, holding inactive Medical Administrative Corps commissions as second lieutenants. Appointment will not be made from this category unless there is a shortage of qualified personnel designated in the preceding paragraph a.

Twenty-two recent graduates who had participated in the ASTP and 30 inducted veterinarians were appointed in the Veterinary Corps, Army of the United States, to fill this personnel procurement objective.

Actually, as the new personnel authorization was below Army needs, the Surgeon General's Office again, in mid-January 1945, restated the current shortages in the Veterinary Corps as numbering 139 officers (33, 34). Three months later, on 14 April 1945, the War Department answered the request with a procurement objective authorization to attain and maintain a personnel ceiling at 2,150 veterinary officers as long as the Army was at a strength of 7.7 to 8.2 million personnel. The ceiling was the first to be established for the Veterinary Corps during the war. Under this ceiling, appointments were to be made, in the grade of first lieutenant, of personnel from the following prescribed sources, with priority in the order listed:

Those warrant officers and enlisted men whom The Surgeon General considers best qualified.

Graduates of approved veterinary schools who were not appointed in the Army of the United States for assignment to the Veterinary Corps due to lack of position vacancies and future graduates holding Medical Administrative Corps appointments. These categories will be considered in the following order with priority of consideration based upon order of graduation, provided proper clearance is obtained from the Procurement and Assignment Service of the War Manpower Commission on those who no longer hold commissions:

(1) Graduates of the Army Specialized Training Program, discharged from the service in 1944.

(2) Individuals formerly holding appointments as Second Lieutenant, Medical Administrative Corps, who graduated prior to November 1944 and who subsequent to graduation were discharged from their commissions.

(3) Individuals holding appointments as Second Lieutenant, Medical Administrative Corps, Army of the United States, who graduated during November and December 1944 and January 1945.

(4) Individuals holding appointments as Second Lieutenant, Medical Administrative Corps, Army of the United States, who will graduate during 1945 and 1946.  


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Every possible effort was made to satisfy the new personnel ceiling immediately, but the restrictions on sources of veterinarians and the lack of up-to­date information on the addresses of those who had been discharged earlier from their MAC appointment and the Medical Enlisted Reserve Corps only resulted in failure. Between January and June 1945, only 33 new veterinary officer appointments were made. Actually, the numbers were urgently required because, pursuant to the agreement reached during February 1945 between the Secretary of War and the War Food Administrator, veterinary officers were to be deployed on inspection work in meat packing plants which was needed to improve the Army meat supply situation but for which the Nation's civilian meat inspection agency could not provide inspection personnel. This interagency agreement for such veterinary officer utilization was urged on the Army by the Director of Economic Stabilization, concurred in by the Office of Marketing Services, War Food Administration, and endorsed by the Quartermaster Corps which by that time was the procuring agency of meats for all of the Armed Forces and was experiencing supply shortages. Along with the difficulties being experienced by the Surgeon General's Office in procuring the needed veterinary officers, The Adjutant General, on 17 May 1945, asked The Surgeon General to investigate the need for continuing the ceiling of 2,150 veterinary officers-the results of such study to be submitted to the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1 (Personnel), War Department General Staff, before 13 June 1945; otherwise, the unexpended position vacancies in the authorized objective would be canceled (35). The Surgeon General was also advised: "It is believed with the cessation of hostilities in Europe, the need for Veterinary Corps officers will be materially reduced, if not completely eliminated."

The Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, recommended both a modification of existing restrictions on the sources of officer procurement and an increase, rather than a cancellation, in the personnel ceiling to a new total of 2,237 personnel space authorizations. The Surgeon General, in his reply to the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1, on 29 May 1945, noted that:

The requirement for Veterinary Corps officers is not proportional to the military strength of the Army particularly in reference to their duties in connection with the procurement of foods of animal origin. This requirement for Veterinary Corps officers is based on the amounts of these items procured by the Army both for military needs and food for liberated countries.

The procurement by the Army of food items subject to veterinary inspection has not been reduced following V-E Day, but maintains a high level.

The requirement for veterinary officers was not proportional to the military strength of the Army particularly in connection with food procurement inspection service.

The Quartermaster Corps food procurement program for the Armed Forces and emergency civilian feeding in liberated countries was being increased both in respect to quantities and to geographical distribution of sources.


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The War Food Administration and the War Department agreement for Army veterinary inspection in meat processing plants which could not be supervised by the Federal Meat Inspection Division because of the latter's shortages in personnel was to become operational.

The Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1 (Personnel), inserted into the record at this time that it was "* * * considered contrary to established War Department policy to commission qualified civilian veterinarians in the Army of the United States to perform duties which do not require military status," but somewhat earlier, the same office had refused to release veterinary officers to the Federal meat inspection agency. In any event, on 13 July 1945, the War Department granted authorization to The Surgeon General-in line with the recommendations-to procure qualified veterinarians for appointment as first lieutenant in the Veterinary Corps, Army of the United States, in order to attain and maintain a personnel strength of 2,327 officers; the sources of supply were defined as follows (36):

Warrant officers and enlisted men whom The Surgeon General considers best qualified. 

Graduates of approved veterinary colleges who graduated subsequent to 1943 and were not appointed in the Veterinary Corps due to lack of position vacancies, preference being given to graduates of the Army Specialized Training Program, discharged from the service in 1944, whose present addresses are unknown, provided proper clearance is obtained from the Procurement and Assignment Service of the War Manpower Commission.

When a need occurs for the appointment of veterinarians with special training and unusual experience which recent graduates do not possess, appointments will be made from veterinarians in a civilian status, after presenting the case to the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1, for decision.

The war soon ended and the authorized ceiling strength was not reached. In fact, on 2 September 1945, all unexpended position vacancies in existing procurement objectives were canceled (37).

Postwar Demobilization

At about the time that the Army Veterinary Service reached its peak officer strength, the Army was undergoing a partial demobilization following the victory in Europe and the change to the one-front war against the Japanese. This reduction in force was complicated by beginning programs of redeploying troops from the Mediterranean and European theaters to the Pacific, replacing personnel in the active theaters by those who had not seen oversea duty, and the continuing assignments to maintain the postwar Army. Thus, the period of partial demobilization saw a few veterinary animal service units in the Mediterranean theater inactivated to provide personnel for the veterinary food inspection detachments which were to be redeployed to the Pacific theater and the beginning reduction in force in the European theater, but actually there were few separations of individual veterinary officers anywhere. Personnel were needed until such time that the Army was relieved of its food procurement contracts, stockpiles of subsistence, and holdings of


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animals. In addition, the Veterinary Corps at the time was actually below stated requirements. The sudden capitulation of the Japanese brought an end to the program of redeployment and changed the slow rate of separations under the program of reduction in force to one of rapid, full-scale demobilization.

Separation schedules were then developed on the basis of age and a numerical score, named "adjusted service rating"-the latter including a prescribed number of point credits which were granted for such factors as length of service, length of time overseas, combat activity, decorations, and number of dependents. Thus, veterinary officers 50 years of age or older or having an adjusted service rating of 110 were included in the first group of postwar separations. In time, these criteria were changed (or lowered), and length of service was soon added as a third factor. Thus, in mid-September, the War Department was releasing veterinary officers, if 42 years of age, who had a point score of 80 or more, or had seen military service prior to 1 January 1941. Officers who were declared essential to the Army in their places of current assignment could be retained until a specified date but were to be released earlier if replacement personnel arrived. During November 1945, new separation criteria were announced which lowered the adjusted service rating score to 70 points and reduced the period of military service to that of duty prior to 7 December 1941. By the end of the year, an estimated 730 veterinary officers had been separated from the Army since V-E Day. By the end of June 1946, such separations totaled 1,500 officers, and 270 more personnel were released during the next 6 months.As of 28 December 1946, the Veterinary Corps strength was 695 officers.

PERSONNEL MATTERS

Officer procurement, as described previously, was only one facet of Veterinary Corps personnel administration during World War II. There were many other problems, such as the determination of requirements, military occupational classification, promotion, professional standards and standards of conduct, protective status, awards, and personnel losses (or attrition). Before veterinary enlisted personnel are discussed, brief mention is also made of female veterinarians in the Army, civilian employees, and the nonprofessional officers who were detailed to duty with the Army Veterinary Service.

Determination of Requirements and Assignments

The regulations of the Army in 1942 provided a basis for estimating requirements but only in the terms of determining the needs of, or assignments to, Army camps or posts, as follows (38):

a. To a station having an animal strength of 200 or more, a station veterinarian may be assigned if available, and where the number of animals exceeds 600, additional veterinary officers as assistants to the station veterinarian, as available, are authorized as follows:


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Total animal strength, 601 to 1,100, one assistant. 
Total animal strength, 1,101 to 1,600, two assistants. 
Total animal strength, 1,601 to 2,200, three assistants. 
Total animal strength, 2,201 to 2,800, four assistants. 
Total animal strength, 2,801 to 3,500, five assistants.

b. A station having a human strength of approximately 1,000 will be allowed one or more veterinary officers, as circumstances warrant, for duty in connection with meat and dairy hygiene, the maintenance of instruction courses, or other duties pertaining to the veterinary service. At depots, ports of embarkation and debarkation, purchasing points, and other places where foods of animal origin are purchased, stored, or handled by the Army, the assignment of veterinary officers will be based on actual need as determined by The Surgeon General.

In fact, almost all requirements would have had to be made by the assignment of individual veterinary officers, and indeed, at times, this was actually done. The ratios of 0.25 to 0.27 veterinary officers per 1,000 Army Strength were computed after the end of World War II; that is, they were accomplished facts. Though troop strength was satisfactorily used by nearly all of the Medical Department professional corps in determining their requirements, it was valueless in the computation of the Army's total needs for veterinary officers. For example, this basis was entered into military planning, during 1940-41, for bringing veterinary Reserve Corps officers to active duty in connection with the augmentation of the Regular Army, federalization of the National Guard, and early training of the selectee Army, but the ratio that was then used (0.65 veterinary officers per 1,000 troop strength) would have eventually created a demand for more than 5,000 veterinary officers when the Army reached its peak strength. Animal strength, though used in the ratio of 2.5 officers per each 1,000 Army horses and mules during World War I, also lacked much the same quality for justifying requirements in the modern motorized Army of World War II as did troop strength, except that it would have created an officer understrength in the Veterinary Corps by about one-third.

The lack of a single basis to determine overall veterinary officer requirements caused justifiable concern in the upper echelons of military planning at first, but later the situation was accepted after a better understanding of the reasons. There was no question, however, that the use of animals did influence veterinary officer requirements in some theaters during World War II and that troop strength, particularly ration strength, could be used also to determine veterinary officer needs in these and other theaters where the surveillance inspection of the food supply was a major veterinary activity. The last-named basis closely paralleled the Army's food supply during its storage and distribution by the Quartermaster Corps and shipment by the Transportation Corps. However, the least understood factor was the need for veterinary officers in numbers to provide an inspection service paralleling the Quartermaster Corps food procurement activities, especially when these activities were expanded, as they were, to include the supply for all of the Armed Forces or when the Nation's food control and economic agencies


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advised the Army to extend its procurement activities to new sources of supply. Sometimes, foods were procured in the oversea theaters and foreign countries; generally, four times as many veterinary personnel were required there as when the Army food supply for the Armed Forces overseas originated from the Zone of Interior.

Actually, veterinary officers engaged in food procurement inspection were urgently needed ahead of the buildup of, and thus, in proportionally greater numbers than indicated by, the strength of troops for which food stockpiles had to be developed and then moved to the areas of distribution. Much the same situation prevailed during the immediate postwar period when a large number of veterinary officers had to be retained until subsistence contracts could be terminated and the large stockpiles transferred from the operational control of the Army. In fact, as the partial result of such personnel needs to support food procurement activities, the veterinary officer-Army strength ratio ranged between 0.31 and 0.41 per 1,000 strength, during the first 6 months after Pearl Harbor, and as much as 0.39 per 1,000 during the immediate postwar period; between these periods covering the greater part of the war, this proportion was somewhat less.

The proportionate assignments of veterinary officers in the Zone of Interior, with the Army Air Forces, and to the oversea theaters were constantly changed as the war progressed. As of 30 June 1939, the regular Veterinary Corps was largely assigned in the Zone of Interior with only 17, or 13.5 percent, of its officers overseas in the Panama Canal, Hawaiian, Puerto Rican, and Philippine Departments. The percentage became considerably less in 1940-41, during the prewar emergency periods, when the mobilization and training of the wartime Army was launched in the Zone of Interior. These troops, including veterinary officers, after the Pearl Harbor attack, were then deployed, in gradually increasing numbers, to the Pacific theaters to stem the Japanese onslaught and later to the North African shores and Normandy beachheads. By October 1943, the oversea percentage had increased to include 338 officers of the total number, or 17.2 percent, of Veterinary Corps officers. By April 1945, the oversea veterinary officer strength reached a wartime peak of approximately 35 percent; at this time, the number of veterinary officers (707) , in proportion to the oversea total Army strength, was 0.12 per 1,000. It is rather significant that some theaters, such as the Pacific and Asiatic areas, had relatively larger numbers of veterinary officers than seemed to be warranted as contrasted to other theaters, such as the European which had by far the greater share of the U.S. Army troop strength. However, in the former theaters, the veterinary officers were needed in numbers above the level of food surveillance in order to satisfy the needs of Allied military forces and food procurement activities.

In regard to veterinary officers who were assigned to the Army Air Forces, their number reached a peak of approximately 355 in August 1944, approximating 17.5 percent of the total number of Veterinary Corps officers.  


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At that time, the veterinary officer-Air Force strength ratio was 0.1 : 1,000. Only 8.2 percent of these officers were overseas.

Occupational Specialty and Professional Classification

Closely related to assignment actions was the classification of individual Veterinary Corps officers according to the prescribed MOS (military occupational specialty) in which they seemed to be best qualified. In fact, by the end of the war, veterinary officers were being requisitioned by a coded MOS number. In 1943, 11 special military jobs were defined for them as follows:

Veterinary Officer (3200)  
Veterinary Officer, Large Animal (3201) 
Veterinary Officer, Small Animal (3202) 
Veterinary Officer, Staff (3203) 
Veterinary Officer, Remount (3205) 
Veterinary Unit Commander (3207)
Meat and Dairy Products Inspector (3221) 
Meat Products Inspector (3222)  
Dairy Products Inspector (3223) 
Food Chemist (3224)
Veterinary Laboratory Officer (3231)

This classification procedure, on paper, possessed promising features for the better placement of veterinary officers in military assignments for which they might be especially qualified by prior experience or civilian education. In practice, it was a failure, but perhaps some of this was due to the fact that classification of occupational jobs in the Army was started so late during the war period. For example, the majority of veterinarians entering the military service were qualified animal practitioners and were thus eligible for assignment of MOS 3201 or 3202; on the other hand, the Army needs for such personnel were relatively small, as contrasted to the requirements for veterinary officers as meat or dairy inspectors. Also, by 1943, the Veterinary Corps was approaching its peak strength. Any effectual reclassification of veterinary officers at this time which might have been based on surveying their premilitary acquired skills would have led to reassignments-costly in terms of the time needed to transfer them-and the removal of others from assignments in which the individual veterinary officer had already demonstrated his ability and capability to the satisfaction of the immediate commander.

Promotion

The beginning of World War II found the rank of Veterinary Corps officers on active duty distributed through the grades of colonel, lieutenant colonel, major, captain, and first lieutenant, and in such proportions as had developed under the peacetime system of promotions pursuant to con-  


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gressional legislation. After 1920 when the regular Veterinary Corps was largely made up of lieutenants and captains, the Veterinary Corps, Regular Army, had now developed-under the provisions of a time-in-grade system of promotions-into a corps of lieutenant colonels. This maldistribution of the upper grades was lessened during the prewar emergency periods with the ordering of the Officers' Reserve Corps and National Guard into active military service; new appointments and temporary promotions into the Army of the United States also soon brought the grade distribution of Veterinary Corps officers to more nearly equaling that of the arms and other service branches of the Army. Overall, however, this grade distribution was less favorable than that for the Medical Corps, but it was generally better than that of the entire Army, particularly, in the upper grades.

The wartime Army Veterinary Service did not include Veterinary Corps officers holding the grade of second lieutenant. On the other hand, during World War II, for the first time in the history of the Veterinary Corps, one veterinary officer gained temporary appointment as brigadier general in the Army of the United States. This promotion, made effective on 9 March 1942, was tentatively set forth in prewar planning for mobilizing the Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, to include one brigadier general as divisional chief (39). Of course, with the retirement of this general, in January 1946, the space authorization was vacated.2

The wartime promotion system, or temporary promotions in the Army of the United States, actually received its start during the prewar emergency periods. At this time, it was limited more or less to temporarily advancing the grades of Regular Army officers (without vacating their permanent grades) so that they could have rank commensurate with that held by the Reserve Corps and National Guard officers who were then being ordered to extended active duty with the Regular Army (40, 41, 42, 43). These promotions of Regular Army officers by their temporary appointment in a higher grade in the Army of the United States were made pursuant to the National Defense Act, as amended, and military appropriations legislation. In January 1942, the War Department replaced the earlier procedure with one in which Reserve Corps and National Guard as well as Regular Army officers could all gain advancement to the higher grades, and it was equally applicable to those who were initially appointed as officers in the Army of the United States (44). Conditions governing such promotions included: time-in-grade prerequisites before becoming eligible for promotion, the earned merits of the individual, the need for recommendation by the senior officer, and the existence of a personnel space vacancy in the next higher grade.

In practice, the temporary promotion system that was established was not without its faults. Frequently, promotions seemed to be gained only by those who were at the right place at the right time, and the rates of

2Following World War II, both the grade of second lieutenant and that of brigadier general were restored to the Veterinary Corps-pursuant to the Officer Personnel Act of 1947-but later, in 1954, by amendment to that law, the grade of second lieutenant was again dropped.-J. B. C., Jr.  


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promotion for veterinary officers in one command or theater were not comparable to the rates of promotion in another. In some areas, senior veterinary officers hesitated to release eligible personnel, whom they found to be satisfactory, for reassignment into places having position vacancies of higher grades, and undoubtedly some of the same eligible personnel were satisfied with their current assignment rather than risk transfer where chances of promotion were greater. In the veterinary and other units, which were organized under the provisions of War Department tables of organization, the veterinary officers could not be promoted to grades higher than those prescribed, regardless of the length of their assignments. Promotions of officers belonging to the non-Regular components of the Army of the United States to the grades of lieutenant colonel and colonel were relatively few in number, but this was no reflection on their efficiency nor one for criticism that promotions in the higher grades were reserved for the regular Veterinary Corps. The facts were that the latter was already topheavy with rank before the temporary promotion system was begun and that there was so little attrition of Veterinary Corps officers during the war period.

A specific promotion problem concerned veterinary officers who held the grade of first lieutenant, but this did not evolve until after War Department Circular No. 122 of 1943 had provided for the promotion of almost all Medical and Dental Corps officers of this grade to captain. The War Department did not believe that the Veterinary Corps was experiencing any serious promotion inequality such as was being imposed among the many lieutenants of the other two Medical Department professional corps who were assigned to tactical units and to service installations (45). In opposition to this opinion, however, The Surgeon General showed that approximately 180 veterinary officers in the grade of first lieutenant were then assigned to at least 13 kinds of non-Medical Department units under approved tables of organization but that there was essentially no opportunity for the promotion of these officers, irrespective of their length of service, qualifications, or manner of performance of duty. In August 1944, pursuant to AR (Army Regulations) No. 605-12, existing position vacancies in tables of organization or allotments for veterinary officers in the grades of first lieutenant, captain, or both, were considered as position vacancies in the grade of captain. This soon resulted in the temporary promotion of many lieutenants in the Veterinary Corps; by the end of 1944, its number of captains exceeded that of the lower grade for the first time during the war period.

Shortly after V-J Day, the War Department, in a gesture to improve public relations with the officers who were being separated from the military service, inaugurated a different kind of a mass promotion system. Non-Regular veterinary officers below the grade of colonel were granted a one­grade promotion, coincident with their separation, if they had seen at least 2 years' active service since 16 September 1940 but had received no promo-  


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tion, or if they had served time in grade for 18 months as first lieutenant or 24 months as captain or major, or 30 months as lieutenant colonel (46, 47). Undoubtedly, some refused the separation promotion from captain to major because personnel in the latter grade did not receive the muster-out pay which was granted to those holding the rank of first lieutenant and captain. These promotions were temporary, were made in the Army of the United States, and were to expire 6 months after the end of the emergency period.

Professional Standards, Standards of Conduct, and Nonprofessional Utilization of Veterinary Officers

Prerequisite to their appointment, veterinary officers were required to have graduated from a civilian veterinary college which was acceptable to The Surgeon General. The number of such colleges in the United States during World War II totaled eight, and there were another two in Canada. Little difficulty was experienced with individuals who had graduated from veterinary schools outside of the United States and Canada which failed to meet the educational standards established by the American Veterinary Medical Association and were thus disapproved by The Surgeon General.

As to their standards of conduct, veterinary officers had to be particularly reserved in their relationships with the civilian contractors furnishing foods to the Armed Forces. Actually, during World War II as in the period before it, there were no definitive rules for the conduct of veterinary food inspection personnel such as were developed later. However, there were no available records to show that Army inspection personnel were involved during the war in major irregularities or deviations from their duties to protect the financial interests of the Government by determining that the quality of the product complied with the contract requirements. Another standard of conduct pertained to professional practice by individual veterinary officers; that is, caring for and treating animals which were not owned by the Government. This standard seems to have originated sometime after World War I and was changed from time to time thereafter. For example, in 1920, the War Department granted approval to the following recommendations by the Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, published in Veterinary Circular Letter No. 59:

1. It is deemed a desirable policy not to discourage veterinary officers of the Army in the practice of their profession amongst civilian animals, provided that such practice does not interfere with the performance of military duties, that it does not entail expense to the Government or the expenditure of military supplies, and that no veterinary officer maintains an office outside his military station * * *.

2. Attendance on cases outside the military service has a tendency to keep these officers in touch with the general conditions regarding animal sanitation in their immediate locality, and also gives them experience in cases which is not usually obtained in the military service, in this way broadening their professional field and increasing their general value to the Army.  


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In 1942, this statement of policy was replaced by a new one which was set forth in AR 40-2005, as follows:

7. Veterinary attendance.-Veterinary officers on duty will attend all public animals and the authorized private mounts of officers; also, when practicable, other animals and pets actually owned and kept by officers, enlisted men, company messes, exchanges, and like organizations; and, at stations or in the field, where other veterinary attendance cannot be procured, civilian-owned animals employed or maintained on the reservation. 

8. Private practice of veterinary officers. a. If citizens in the neighborhood of a military post or the residence of an Army officer desire the professional services of such officer, and the attendance of a private practitioner acceptable to them cannot conveniently be obtained, it is regarded as not inconsistent with the regulations governing the Army for such officer to render his services when this does not interfere with the proper performance of his official duties. Private or civilian practice by Army veterinary officers in civilian communities, the needs of which can be met by civilian practitioners, will ordinarily be restricted to consultation practice with such civilian practitioners, and to emergency veterinary medical or surgical work necessary to save life or limb, or prevent great suffering for which civilian practitioners are not immediately available. b. The establishment of an office for the purpose of engaging in civil practice is prohibited.

This policy was continued in effect through World War II. In addition, there were other regulatory controls, such as those concerning the monetary charges that would be made if Government medical supplies were used (to cover the costs thereof) and for the handling of the monies which might be collected, including reimbursement to the Government.

Another subject that concerned the veterinary professional man in the Army was his utilization in a nonprofessional capacity. Conceivably, as an officer of the Army, the Veterinary Corps officer was required to serve in certain staff capacities and as part-time administrator over the operations of the Army Veterinary Service concurrent with his professional activities; also, he had an obligation to serve at times on courts-martial and boards of officers. However, the full-time deployment of any veterinary officer in a nonprofessional capacity could not be condoned, and where this existed, for any great length of time, the individual veterinary officer could most often blame himself for the situation. It was commonly experienced that veterinary personnel were usually so preoccupied with the military veterinary service within their areas of responsibility that commanders and surgeons had little cause to assign extracurricular duties to them. Probably, the greatest misuse of veterinary personnel occurred, during the earlier war years, when some few arrived in the oversea replacement pools and could not be immediately assigned to veterinary duty because of lack of position vacancies.

Protective Status Under Rules of Land Warfare

Though an integral component of the Medical Department since 1916, the Army Veterinary Service was not granted protective status, or those benefits that are accrued by noncombatant personnel pursuant to the Geneva Conventions or international rules of land warfare. Thus, it is not surpris-  


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ing that Army regulations, as early as World War I, referred to the wearing of pistols by veterinarians in the Army, and, that in January 1918, Army general orders authorized issues of personal firearms to veterinary enlisted men. Unfortunately, the War Department tables of allowances in the mid­1920's failed to make mention of pistols and ammunition (for training) for veterinary personnel so that this became, in 1927, a major reason for the Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, to recommend against such issues to a veterinary company unit. These recommendations were favorably upheld by The Adjutant General. A few years later, the Geneva Red Cross Convention in a new ruling provided that sanitary or medical formations or establishments were not to be deprived of protective status if "* * * there is found in the formation or establishment personnel or materiel of the veterinary service which does not integrally belong to it" (48). In other words, the Army Veterinary Service was an unarmed combatant-unarmed pursuant to War Department policy but regarded generally as combatant under international convention.

Throughout this period, protected Medical Department personnel in field training or maneuvers were identified, by wearing on the sleeve of their uniforms, a white armband bearing a red cross. The Medical Department supply catalogs itemized this as: Brassard, Geneva Convention. Upon discretion of the surgeons of various commands, it is probable that individual veterinary personnel who were engaged in sanitary inspections of food supplies or attached to medical units wore the same brassard and, of course, were unarmed. The same occurred during World War II. (On the other hand, after the early 1920's, veterinary units and hospitals engaged in animal service were specially identified at station in the field with a guidon, green cross, and their veterinary ambulances and transport equipment were marked with a Greek cross in green on a white background.) On 20 August 1940, by amendment, the current Medical Department supply catalog added the following item: Brassard, Veterinary Corps: Green Cross. This was a white armband bearing a green cross. During the next year, the veterinary brassard was described in Army training manuals for the soldier, as well as in Army regulations regarding uniforms; one regulation expressly provided that this brassard would be worn "by members of the veterinary service assigned to theaters of operations." Thus, veterinary personnel were to be separately identified from other Medical Department personnel. As a matter of fact, the training manual for Medical Department soldiers that was promulgated in 1941 emphasized this with a statement on their protective status under the Geneva Red Cross Convention, as follows: "Medical troops, installations, and equipment are to be protected so long as they are not used to commit acts injurious to the enemy. This protection is extended to the dental, but not to the veterinary service."


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Shortly after Pearl Harbor, the Commanding General, Third U.S. Army, then located at San Antonio, Tex., recommended to the Army Ground Forces that veterinary tables of unit equipment and pertinent Army regulations be changed to permit the arming of veterinary personnel and their training in the use of personal sidearms. These recommendations found acceptance with the Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office. Subsequently, by mid-1942, tables of allowances provided personal arms for Veterinary Corps officers. Veterinary enlisted personnel were not armed at first because some few were of the opinion that they, in a general sense, were Medical Department personnel who could not be considered for arming. In January 1944, the Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, recommended that certain types of veterinary units be provided with carbines (one for each enlisted man) and pistols (one per officer) together with machineguns, grenades, and rocket launchers for the large units. The Military Training Division, Headquarters, Army Service Forces, obtained a legal opinion on the protective status of Army veterinary personnel from the Judge Advocate General's Office, dated 15 February 1944.

On 23 February 1944, the War Department policy governing the armament of personnel and units for field service was revised to provide that no weapons would be provided for chaplains or for medical units or personnel except veterinary (49). Subsequently, the Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, initiated recommendations for arming veterinary units (and personnel) such as the veterinary convalescent, general, station, and evacuation hospitals and the veterinary cellular hospital, evacuation, animal service, and food inspection teams. Concurrently, veterinary units and personnel were required to undergo training in the use of weapons and courses in familiarization firing and qualification firing, such as were prescribed from time to time by Headquarters, Army Service Forces. Overseas, in the European theater, the Chief Surgeon's Office established the following policy: "Veterinary personnel, both officer and enlisted, were not, repeat were not [sic], entitled to protection afforded by the Geneva Convention, and the phrase 'personnel employed in pursuit of sanitary establishments' shall not include the Veterinary Service; further, that veterinary personnel will be armed" (50).

Awards

Military decorations were awarded to individuals in recognition of their acts of heroism performed, achievements accomplished, and valuable services rendered. In World War II, the Distinguished Service Cross was awarded to 1st Lt. (later Capt.) Clayton H. Mickelsen, VC, then with the 26th Cavalry Regiment (Philippine Scouts) (51). The citation read as follows:

For extraordinary heroism in action at Rosario, La Union, Philippine Islands, on December 22, 1941. During a concentrated fire from enemy tanks and infantry at close range against the rear guard of the 26th Cavalry (PS) Lieutenant Mickelsen, with one


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other officer, with total disregard of his personal safety, remained between the hostile troops and his own force, set fire to a truck placed on a bridge, and remained at the bridge exposed to enemy fire until satisfied that the bridge was in flames. Subsequently, Lieutenant Mickelsen, with the other officer, in a scout car, moved slowly with the rear­most elements of the 26th Cavalry, picking up the wounded and collecting and giving orders to stragglers. By his heroic actions, Lieutenant Mickelsen prevented unhindered pursuit by the hostile tanks, saved the lives of a number of wounded, collected many stragglers and set an inspiring example of courage for the entire regiment.

Next in order, below the Distinguished Service Cross, is the Distinguished Service Medal. Such a decoration was awarded to Brig. Gen. Raymond A. Kelser for his "unusual executive ability and initiative" and "leadership and foresight" as nominal chief of the Army Veterinary Service in World War II (52).3 In addition, the following U.S. military decorations were awarded to Veterinary Corps officers: Legion of Merit, 37, and Bronze Star Medal, 49. One Sanitary Corps officer and one female veterinary officer of the Women's Army Corps, both on duty with the Army Veterinary Service, also earned the Legion of Merit. The Bronze Star Medal was awarded to 32 veterinary enlisted personnel.

Another military decoration, the Purple Heart, for wounds received in action, was awarded to an unknown number of veterinary officers and enlisted personnel. Also, mention must be made of the 5 Veterinary Corps officers and the 31 or more veterinary enlisted men in the China-Burma­India theater who were awarded the Combat Medical Badge for having shared with Infantry the hazards and hardships of combat. Another Veterinary Corps officer was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge for his services, after being conversion transferred to Cavalry, during the fighting that ended with the capture of the Philippine Islands by the Japanese enemy in early 1942. Furthermore, some few Veterinary Corps officers were awarded decorations by foreign countries, and separate veterinary units and units having attached veterinary personnel received awards for meritorious service or participation in certain recognized campaigns of the war.

Attrition of Veterinary Officers

Those hardships of military service that can be measured in the terms of personnel killed or dying were not particularly great in the Veterinary Corps, as contrasted with the losses which were encountered in the combat arms. However, 17 veterinary officers died or were killed during World War II. This number included 4 Veterinary Corps officers who were killed in action and who were among the total 10 who were captured, wounded, or killed by enemy action (that is, battle casualties). Another 141 Veteri­

3This was the first instance that the Distinguished Service Medal was awarded to a veterinary officer, although it might be observed that a similar award was made to the World War I chief of corps, Col. C. F. Morse, MC.  


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nary Corps officers were separated from active military service during the war period, as indicated below:

Cause for separation

Number

Physically disqualified

84

Over 38 years of age

21

Retirement

9

Reclassified

6

Resigned

6

Released as key man in civilian life

4

Conditions other than honorable

3

Over age

2

Enter U.S. Military Academy

2

Dishonorable discharge

1

Hardship

1

Other

2

Total

141


Source: United States Army in World War II. The Technical Services. The Medical Department: Personnel. [In preparation.]

Nonveterinary Officers, Female Veterinary Officers, and Civilian Employees

Though a number of veterinary officers and veterinarians saw military service in other than the Veterinary Corps during World War II, very few non-Veterinary Corps officers and civilian veterinarians were used in the Army Veterinary Service. One Sanitary Corps officer came on duty with the Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, and another one or two were assigned to duty with the Army Veterinary School, Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C. Also, a few MAC officers were assigned to larger veterinary units and organizations both in the Zone of Interior and oversea theaters where they substituted for veterinary officers on full-time duty as administrative personnel. It may be observed that tables of organization for large units, such as the veterinary convalescent, general, and evacuation hospitals, were changed during 1942 and 1943 to include position vacancies for MAC officers to command the hospital's enlisted detachments; on the other hand, the medical officers or aidmen who were authorized for such units pursuant to the organization tables, prior to World War II, were then withdrawn. However, since the number of these units was only five, the aforementioned had little influence on the utilization of MAC officers for conserving the Army's veterinary professional manpower in World War II.

One female veterinarian who had gained appointment in the Women's Army Corps in the fall of 1942 was assigned to duty with the Army Veterinary Service in a Medical Department laboratory (in the Seventh Service Command) in the Zone of Interior; on 25 August 1945, she was transferred to become the first female veterinary officer. Another female veterinarian who saw service as a noncommissioned officer (Women's Army Corps) in the Zone of Interior (in the Third Service Command) gained her appointment


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as a first lieutenant in the Veterinary Corps in 1946. Actually, there were no established procedures for the appointment of female veterinary officers during World War II.

In regard to female military personnel, it may be noted that the Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, in March 1944, could find no existent job positions to which Women's Army Corps officers could be assigned in lieu of male officers. On the other hand, a relatively small number of enlisted women were assigned to several station veterinary detachments or organizations in metropolitan areas, but generally their detail to duty presented a major problem because so many duties peculiar to the Army Veterinary Service precluded the use of women, military and civilian alike. On the other hand, female civilian employees could be, and were, used as clerks, stenographers, and typists, in the Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, and in many veterinary offices of major commands, quartermaster depots, and medical laboratories, both in the Zone of Interior and the oversea theaters. Male employees were not used to any great extent, except possibly in medical laboratories (as animal caretakers), in depots (as laborers), and as food inspectors. However, food inspectors could not be used with any degree of success in most veterinary detachments whose enlisted personnel were necessarily needed for long or irregular periods of duty in the civilian food establishments that were producing on military contracts.

VETERINARY ENLISTED MEN

At the beginning of World War II, veterinary enlisted men were collectively designated as Medical Department (Veterinary Service), but, during the war, the practice of using this service branch designation was discontinued, and men then were referred to by their MOS. The authorized enlisted strength was 1,387 on 30 June 1941 and had been increased to 2,808 by 30 June 1942. Throughout this period, the space authorizations were filled by men, voluntarily enlisting (or reenlisting) in the Regular Army and, after the fall of 1940, also from National Guard units which were federalized, and the selectees who came into military service through the operations of the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940.

During the war, the number of enlisted personnel on duty with the Army Veterinary Service probably reached a peak of 6,370. Veterinary units which were organized pursuant to War Department-approved tables of organization alone projected requirements for more than 2,000 enlisted men, but there were other units and organizations whose tables of organization and overhead or bulk allotment authorizations provided space vacancies for many more. The basis for determining their requirements in local situations was defined in AR 40-2035, as follows:

3. Station allowance of noncommissioned officers.-To every veterinary station detachment there will be assigned at least one noncommissioned officer, Medical Department (Veterinary Service), and one additional such noncommissioned officer for every four  


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enlisted men of the Medical Department (Veterinary Service) of the grades of private, first class, and private in excess of four.

4. Station allowances of privates, first class, and privates.-a. To every veterinary station detachment commanded by a veterinary officer, there will be assigned at least four enlisted men of the Medical Department (Veterinary Service) of the grades of private, first class, and private when the animal strength is 200, and one additional private, first class, or private for every additional 75 animals.

b. The foregoing allowances are prescribed only when a veterinary hospital service is maintained at the station. If as a routine procedure, the sick animals are sent to a hospital at another station, the allowance of enlisted men authorized in this paragraph should be reduced to the actual requirements of the command.

c. The strength of veterinary detachments at administrative offices, depots, offices of attending veterinarians, laboratories, etc., where the special requirements of the veterinary service are not directly contingent upon the animal strength, and at all independent stations, will be determined in each case by The Surgeon General under the direction of the War Department.

Prior to the war, veterinary men were enlisted in the grade of private, with chances of promotion to private, first class, and then to corporal, on the authorization of the various veterinary detachment or unit commanders. Privates and privates, first class, according to their length of service and degree of proficiency in a prescribed MOS, also were given specialist ratings which carried with them certain pay emoluments. Beyond the grade of corporal, the veterinary enlisted men were advanced through the successive noncommissioned officer grades of sergeant, staff sergeant, and then technical and master sergeants. These higher grades were attained by examination and grant of a permanent warrant by The Surgeon General. As of November 1941, permanent warrants were held by 17 as master sergeants, 38 as technical sergeants, and 34 as staff sergeants in the Army Veterinary Service. In the meantime, permanent promotions had been stopped (after 30 June 1941) and, in lieu thereof, the noncommissioned officers were being promoted under temporary warrants to meet the needs of the rapidly expanding Army; these were granted to 9 master sergeants, 17 technical sergeants, and 74 staff sergeants during the fiscal year ending 30 June 1941.

Between 19 December 1941 and 1 June 1942, the peacetime specialist rating system for privates and privates, first class, was replaced. Technical enlisted personnel were appointed and promoted into the new technician grades of T/3 (technician, third grade), T/4 (technician, fourth grade), and T/5 (technician, fifth grade). Their pay and allowances were comparable to those of staff sergeant, sergeant, and corporal, respectively. Privates and privates, first class, having special ratings were integrated into the new technician grades, as follows:

1. Enlisted men with first, second, or third class specialist ratings and privates, first class, with first, second, or third class specialist ratings were redesignated as technicians, fourth grade.

2. Privates with third or fourth class specialist ratings and privates, first class, with fourth class specialist ratings were redesignated as technicians, fifth grade.  


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3. The fifth and sixth class specialist ratings were abolished.

At about the time that the peacetime specialist rating system was discontinued, the Army was well on its way to develop and utilize a system of classifying the large numbers of incoming selective service personnel who were to comprise the bulk of the wartime Army of the United States. Classification by their occupational skill (in contrast to classification by physical capacity and by intellectual capacity) now became very important to mobilization. Incoming selectees necessarily had to be promptly and properly assigned to specific military jobs on the basis of their having been trained or of their being experienced in some related occupation in civilian life. By December 1941, the Army was describing military occupations, such as horseshoer, meat or dairy inspector, veterinary surgical technician, and veterinary technician, which could be satisfied by assigning selectees who had been in such occupations in civilian life. However, no selectee had the civilian prerequisites for assignment in the Army as forage inspector, medical laboratory technician, veterinary ambulance orderly, veterinary non­commissioned officer, or veterinary pharmacy technician. For such assignment, the inducted personnel generally were required to have some military training and particularly to have prior civilian experience, such as blacksmith, barn boss, chemist, laboratory assistant, pharmacist, stable man, or a preprofessional student. Every kind of occupation or job in the Army was described, each with a code number or SSN (specification serial number), but only those characteristic of the technical personnel who came into the Army Veterinary Service are referred to in this discussion.

This occupational classification began on induction and was continuous throughout the military service of the enlisted men. In this procedure, the identity of the men as belonging to the Medical Department (Veterinary Service) was soon lost. The newly inducted men, after interviews at reception centers, were classified and given SSN's most closely corresponding to their major civilian occupations or skills. These men were then sent, according to their SSN, to units and replacement training centers. There they were given basic military training, and those seemingly best fitted for assignment to the Army Veterinary Service were given basic veterinary technical training; others were sent to Medical Department enlisted technicians schools. In the preliminary procedures, the enlisted men were referred to as potentials, eventually to qualify, by further military training or military experience in an assignment, in one of the seven MOS's. In July 1944, major revisions in the Army classification system saw this number of so-called veterinary occupational specialties reduced to three: meat or dairy inspectors, veterinary technician, and veterinary ambulance orderly.

The continual review of occupational classifications of enlisted personnel, whenever they were reassigned, led to the loss of many enlisted men who had become particularly valuable to the Army Veterinary Service. This loss occurred in the replacement depots and reassignment centers, where by mere  


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change of SSN's, the enlisted personnel were diverted into occupational assignments totally foreign to their civilian and/or past military occupations. Ordinarily, the enlisted personnel having a particular SSN were held in these depots and centers pending the latter's receipt of a requisition from a unit needing such specialists, but, under conditions of confusion, high priorities, and military exigencies, the personnel were reclassified into SSN's to immediately satisfy the personnel requisitions which had been submitted. The losses of qualified personnel by these actions were further aggravated when, at a later date, the depots and centers necessarily had to reclassify another group of personnel in order to meet newer requisition demands for the kind of personnel it had originally reclassified out of that SSN. The Army Veterinary Service overseas too often had to accept untrained, unqualified personnel. This practice became so commonplace, and there were so many complaints about it, particularly from oversea theaters, that Headquarters, Army Service Forces, in January 1945 directed that Medical Department enlisted personnel would not be diverted from medical services or utilized in any position which could be filled by non-Medical Department personnel.

References

1. Public Law 18, 76th Congress, 1st Session, approved 3 Apr. 1939.

2. Annual Report of the Surgeon General, U.S. Army. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1940.  

3. Radiogram, The Adjutant General's Office, to corps area commanders, 13 July 1939. 

4. Letter, Executive Officer, Surgeon General's Office, to The Adjutant General, 14 May 1941, subject: Special Mobilization Procedures for Procurement of Medical Department Officers Who Are Students in Approved Medical Schools, with 1st indorsement thereto, 23 May 1941.  

5. Annual Report of the Surgeon General, U.S. Army. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1941.  

6. Letter, Chief, Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, to 17 recent graduates holding appointments as MAC officers, 11 June 1941.

7. Letter, Acting The Adjutant General, to corps area commanders and The Surgeon General, 2 Mar. 1942, subject: Medical Reserve Officers Holding Key Civilian Positions. 

8. Letter, The Adjutant General, to corps area commanders, 18 Mar. 1942, subject: Availability of Reserve Officers for Active Duty.  

9. Radiogram, The Adjutant General, to corps area commanders, 5 May 1941.  

10. Letter, The Adjutant General, to army and corps area commanders, 20 June 1941, subject: Appointment in the Dental and Veterinary Corps Reserve of Inducted Veterinarians.

11. Memorandum, National Headquarters, Selective Service System, to State directors, 12 May 1941, subject: Occupational Deferment of Veterinary Doctors and Veterinary Students.

12. Memorandum, National Headquarters, Selective Service System, to State directors, 28 Jan. 1942, subject: Occupational Deferments of Medical Doctors, Dentists, and Doctors of Veterinary Medicine.

13. Memorandum, National Headquarters, Selective Service System, to State directors, 28 Jan. 1942, subject: Occupational Deferments of Medical Doctors, Dentists, and Doctors of Veterinary Medicine, amended 28 Apr. 1942. Reprinted, J. Am. Vet. M. A. 100: 525-527, June 1942.  


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14. Memorandum 76, Procurement and Assignment Service, to State Chairmen of Preparedness Committees, 20 May 1942. Reprinted, J. Am. Vet. M. A. 101: 78-79, July 1942.

15. Letter, The Surgeon General, to The Adjutant General, 18 Feb. 1941, subject: Commissioning of Junior and Senior Students in the Medical Department Reserve Corps, with 1st indorsement thereto, 18 Mar. 1941.

16. War Department Memorandum No. W150-3-4, 8 Feb. 1943, subject: Discontinuance of Appointments in Medical Administrative Corps of Accepted Matriculants in Medical, Dental, and Veterinary Schools and Disposition of Those Officers Previously Appointed as Such. As amended by Changes 1, 18 Feb. 1943, and Changes 2, 25 July 1943. 

17. War Department Circular No. 179, 6 May 1944, subject: Medical Administrative Corps.

18. Immediate action letters, The Adjutant General's Office, to service commands, 20 May 1943, subject: ASTP Negotiation Directives for Veterinary Medicine Training.

19. Annual Report of the Surgeon General, U.S. Army. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1939.

20. Letter, The Adjutant General's Office, to The Surgeon General, 13 Feb. 1940, subject: Additional Officers Required if Regular Army is Increased From Enlisted Strength of 227,000 to 280,000.

21. Letter, The Adjutant General's Office, to The Surgeon General, 31 May 1940, subject: Active Duty of Reserve Officers Incident to Increase of Regular Army.

22. Public Law 667, 76th Congress, 3d Session, approved 26 June 1940.

23. Letter, The Adjutant General's Office, to corps area commanders, 2 Oct. 1940, subject: Additional Reserve Officers for Extended Active Duty With Corps Area Service Commands.

24. Letter, The Adjutant General's Office, to corps area commanders, 25 Nov. 1940, subject: Additional Reserve Officers for Active Duty With Regular Army.

25. Letter, The Adjutant General's Office, to corps area commanders, 20 Nov. 1940, subject: Allotment of Medical Reserve Officers.

26. Annual Report, Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, U.S. Army, 1942. 

27. Letter, The Adjutant General's Office, to corps area commanders and The Surgeon General, 17 Apr. 1942, subject: Commissions for Dental and Veterinary Students.

28. Letter, The Adjutant General's Office, to The Surgeon General, 19 Nov. 1942, subject: Amendment to Procurement Objective, Army of the United States, for Duty With the Veterinary Corps (Surgeon General).

29. Letter, The Adjutant General's Office, to The Surgeon General, 24 Nov. 1942, subject: Increase in Procurement Objective, Army of the United States, for The Surgeon General (Veterinary Corps).

30. Memorandum, Assistant Chief of Staff, for Military Personnel Division, Army Service Forces, 15 Sept. 1943, subject: Requirements for Veterinarians.

31. Memorandum, Director, Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, for Military Personnel Division, Surgeon General's Office, 20 Sept. 1943.

32. Letter, The Adjutant General's Office, to Headquarters, Army Service Forces, 18 Oct. 1943, subject: Cancellation of Procurement Objectives.

33. Letter, Surgeon General's Office, to Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1, 13 Jan. 1945, subject: Establishment of a Ceiling for Veterinary Corps Officers.

34. Letter of reply, The Adjutant General's Office, to The Surgeon General, 14 Apr. 1945.

35. Letter, The Adjutant General, to The Surgeon General, 17 May 1945, subject: Procurement Objective for Appointment in Army of the United States (Veterinary Corps). 

36. Letter, Adjutant General's Office, to The Surgeon General, 13 July 1945, subject: Establishment of Ceiling for Veterinary Corps Officers.  


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37. Letter, Adjutant General's Office, to all concerned, 2 Sept. 1945, subject: Cancellation of Procurement Objective.

38. AR 40-2035, 18 Dec. 1942.

39. Letter, The Adjutant General, to Chief, Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, 17 Mar. 1942, subject: Appointment as Brigadier General.

40. Letter, The Adjutant General, to The Surgeon General, 16 Sept. 1940, subject: Temporary Promotion of Regular Army First and Second Lieutenants.

41. Memorandum, Chief, Veterinary Division, for Chief, Military Personnel Division, Surgeon General's Office, 16 Dec. 1940.

42. Letter, Acting The Adjutant General, to chiefs of arms and services, and corps area and department commanders, 25 Aug. 1941, subject: Temporary Promotion of Regular Army Officers.

43. Monthly Résumé of Activities of the Veterinary Division. 

44. War Department Circular No. 1, 1 Jan. 1942.

45. Letter, The Adjutant General, to Representative C. B. Hoeven, M.C., 30 Oct. 1943. 

46. War Department Circular No. 10, 11 Jan. 1946.

47. War Department Circular No. 140, 15 May 1946. 

48. TM 27-251, 7 Jan. 1944.

49. War Department Memorandum No. W310-44, 23 Feb. 1944, subject: Policy Governing Armament for Table of Organization and Equipment, Service Units.

50. Semiannual Report, Veterinary Division, Office of the Chief Surgeon, Headquarters, ETOUSA, 1945.

51. General Orders No. 11, Headquarters, U.S. Army Forces in the Far East, 18 Jan. 1942, subject: Awards of Distinguished Service Cross.

52. War Department General Orders No. 4, 9 Jan. 1946.

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