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Preface

Contents

Preface

This volume is the result of the first opportunity ever granted an officer of the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps to write-from the inside, so to speak-an official history of American military veterinary medicine. From beginning to end, my purpose, whether or not I have accomplished it, has been to meet the needs of the medical man, the military staff officer, and the interested public, as well as the requirements of the Army Medical Service's historical program.

Future works on the subject may correct inadvertent errors in this account or may add facts which through lack of time or limitation of space I was unable to include. They will not, I believe, convey the sense of urgency which I have felt throughout the task. As a Veterinary Corps officer who from the beginning of his military career in 1941 aspired to an appointment in the Regular Army-an appointment obtained shortly after World War II-I saw the profession of military veterinary medicine threatened with extinction while this volume was in its later stages. This assault on the profession and my closeness to the events might have made my account less a history than a voluminous obituary. Actually, it strengthened my determination to make the work a definitive and objective record.

My principal sources have been official documents of the Veterinary Division, Office of The Surgeon General, and the semipersonal letters written by officers of the Veterinary Corps. I have not attempted to distinguish the actual authorship of documents but have attributed them to those who signed them, even though the signers were not always the individuals who prepared them. Any other course would have unduly prolonged the research.

I am specially indebted to Brig. Gen. Wayne O. Kester, USAF (Ret.), for encouraging me to undertake the work. It was he, then a colonel in the Army, who turned over the assignment to me upon his transfer to the new Air Force, in which he became chief veterinary officer. At this early period, I was also associated with Capt. Julius J. Shaffer, MSC Reserve, now a civilian. I wish to extend my most heartfelt thanks to Brig. Gen. James A. McCallam, USA (Ret.), to Brig. Gen. Jacob L. Hartman, USA (Ret.), and to Brig. Gen. Elmer W. Young, USA (Ret.), who as successive heads of the Veterinary Corps gave warm and appreciative support during the years when this history was in the making. To Col. George L. Caldwell, VC, USA (Ret.), Col. Ralph W. Mohri, VC, USA (Ret.), and Brig. Gen. Russell McNellis, VC, former members of the Veterinary Division, Office of The Surgeon General, I respectfully acknowledge a very personal debt for the understanding and patience shown me. My obligation to Colonel Caldwell is particularly great, for it was he who, after my departure to another assignment, technically edited the manuscript. In so doing, the book has


benefited from his long experience, extensive knowledge of Army veterinary medicine, and the mature perspective with which he so willingly carried out that chore.

Finally, I am deeply grateful to Maj. Gen. Joseph H. McNinch, to Brig. Gen. Roger G. Prentiss, Jr., USA (Ret.), former heads of The Historical Unit, Army Medical Service, and to Col. John Boyd Coates, Jr., MC, its present Director. Colonel Coates and Colonel Mohri are mainly responsible for the incentive and, I must add, the kindly firmness that were needed to bring my tedious labors to a fruitful end.

Also, I gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Mrs. Elaine R. Stevenson, publications editor of the Editorial Branch, Historical Unit, who performed the final publications editing and prepared the index for this volume.

Additionally, there are Miss Lucy W. Hansucker, Mrs. Josephine P. Kyle, Miss Janie W. Williams, and Mrs. Willa B. Dial-in that sequence-who, fortunately for me, entered into the life of the book, gaining a share of my troubles in gathering material, preparing manuscripts, and doing other housekeeping affairs. And to Betty Jane Miller, my wife, I owe much.

EVERETT B. MILLER,
Lieutenant Colonel, VC.

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