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The Veterinary Service of the Theater of Operations

Special Regulations NO. 70, Regulations Governing the Army Veterinary Service



Function and organization .................................................................. Paragraph 88

Chief veterinarian .......................................................................... Paragraphs 89-94

Assistant chief veterinarians ....................................................................Paragraph 95

Corps veterinarians ............................................................................... Paragraph 96

Division veterinarians .................................................................... Paragraphs 97-104

Veterinary officers attached to mobile organizations ....................... Paragraph 105-111

Meat inspection .................................................................................... Paragraph 112

Mobile veterinary sections ........................................................... Paragraphs 113-124

Base veterinary hospitals ............................................................... Paragraphs 125-134

Veterinary convalescent depots ..................................................... Paragraphs 135-136

Veterinary supplies ................................................................................ Paragraph 137

Veterinary officers attached to field remount depots and hospitals.................. Paragraph 138

Veterinary officer in the office of the surgeon, base group .............................. Paragraph 139


88.  The veterinary service of the American Expeditionary Forces is directed by the chief veterinarian. Its function is to relieve the forces of the encumbrance of incapacitated animals and to prevent and reduce loss and inefficiency among the ani­mals of the Army. The organization is as follows:


89.  The chief veterinarian is the adviser of the commander in chief on all matters pertaining to the health and efficiency of the animals of the forces in the field and, subject to the orders of the commander in chief, directs all arrangements in connection with the veterinary service. He will report to the chief surgeon on all matters which in the service of the interior are reported to the Surgeon General. He has charge of the veterinary personnel with the forces and is responsible for its distribution and coordinate working. He is assisted by one or more assistant chief veterinarians (one for each army and line of communications), and is represented in army corps by corps veterinarians and in divisions by division veterinarians.


90.  The offices of the chief veterinarian and the assistant chief veterinarians will be located as the commander in chief may from time to time direct.

91.  The chief veterinarian or an assistant chief veterinarian will, when necessary, precede the Army to the theater of operations and will make such preparatory veterinary arrangements at the base and line of communications as may be necessary.

92.  The chief veterinarian will draft such orders as may be necessary for the veterinary personnel of the force, and will keep such diaries and records in the field as may be required. He communicates directly with his subordinates on all professional matters.

93.  He will carry out such inspections and make such recommendations as he may consider necessary pertaining to the health and efficiency of the animals of the forces and will closely supervise the veterinary arrangements.

94.  He will take the necessary measures to prevent the retention in the Army of sick or injured animals which are not likely to become serviceable again.


95.  The duties and responsibilities of an assistant chief veterinarian are similar to those of the chief veterinarian, but are confined to that portion of the force to which he is accredited.


96.  The corps veterinarian will supervise and is responsible for the veterinary service of the Army corps to which he is assigned. His duties are the same as those of the chief veterinarian, but are restricted to his own corps or line of communications.


97.  The division veterinarian is the adviser of the division commander on all matters affecting the health and efficiency of the animals of the division and is in charge of the veterinary personnel of the division. He is responsible to the division commander and to the corps veterinarian for the veterinary service of the division.

98.  Under the orders of the division commander, and in consultation with the staff and representatives of other services concerned, the division veterinarian will, when necessary, draft paragraphs regarding veterinary matters for inclusion in divisional orders.


99.  He will visit the various horse lines and the mobile veterinary section daily and make an inspection of the veterinary service. He will make frequent inspections of the animals of each organization, the sanitary conditions surrounding them, the condition of the forage, the methods of feeding and watering, and any other condition which may affect the health or efficiency of the animals.

100.  Every Friday evening he will telegraph to the chief veterinarian a report of the number of animals of the division fit for duty at noon of that day, the number incapacitated, number transferred to hospital, number transferred elsewhere, number remaining under treatment, number missing, number dead, number destroyed, and number received. A report covering the same points and including in addition a statement of the diseases or conditions affecting the incapacitated animals, the sanitary conditions of the horse lines, the condition of the forage, results of mallein tests, and the inspections made by the division meat and dairy inspector will be prepared in triplicate at the same time and one copy forwarded to the division commander, one to the chief veterinarian, and one to the corps veterinarian.

101.  When a communicable disease of a serious nature is reported among the animals of the division, the division veterinarian will make an immediate investigation and see that the necessary action is taken to control and prevent the spread of infection. He will promptly report the occurrence of such disease to the commander of the organization, to the division commander, and to the corps veterinarian.

102.  He will arrange with headquarters to be notified in advance of the arrival of, and will have submitted to the mallein test, all public and private animals which join the organizations of the division, and will satisfy himself that they exhibit no signs of communicable disease. He will also arrange to receive notice of all animals about to be transferred and of all captured animals. Captured horses and mules will be given the mallein test and will be carefully examined for symptoms of communicable disease.

103.  He will forward to the officer in charge of the advanced medical-supply depot all requisitions for veterinary supplies required by the organizations in the divisions, after carefully examining them and indorsing his recommendations thereon.

104.  He will make arrangements for veterinary service for mobile organizations to which no veterinary officers are attached.


105.  Veterinary officers attached to mobile organizations will bear the same relation to the division veterinarian as medical officers similarly assigned bear to the division surgeon under the regulations and the customs of the service.

106.  A veterinary officer attached to a mobile organization will see that all sick or injured animals belonging to the unit are properly cared for. He will apply treatment to animals affected with minor ailments which do not interfere with their mobility, and will direct the disposition of all patients returned to duty, destroyed, or transferred to the mobile veterinary section for conveyance to a base hospital, after rendering such aid as may be immediately required. He is responsible that a tag indicating the number of the animal and its organization is securely attached to each animal turned over to the mobile veterinary section. He will also send a report with all animals transferred to the mobile section, showing the number of each animal and its organization, its color, age, and sex, and the condition affecting it.

107.  He will make daily inspections of the animals of his organization for symptoms of communicable or other diseases, injuries, evidence of errors in feeding, watering, or stabling, and for faulty shoeing, and make a report of the number of animals fit for duty, the number incapacitated, the causes affecting the latter, the number removed by the mobile veterinary section, and the number of animals joining the organization. Any condition or practice observed which is likely to affect the health or efficiency of the animals will be stated in the report in detail. This report will be made in triplicate and one copy presented to the commanding officer of the unit, one copy forwarded to the division veterinarian, and one retained. When the military situation does not permit of daily inspections, they will be made as often as possible. He will at all times be on the alert to prevent the introduction or spread of communicable disease. He will examine all animals joining the organization and all captured stock. The mallein test will be applied to all captured horses and mules, and also to the others when necessary. He will immediately report all cases of communicable disease of a serious character, and all animals exhibiting suspicious symptoms, to the commanding officer of his organization and to the division veterinarian, the latter being notified by telephone or by special orderly.


108.  He will make requisition for veterinary supplies through the division veterinarian. These requisitions will be made out in triplicate on Form No. 35, Med. Dept.

109.  Veterinary officers must always keep in mind the fact that they are attached to mobile organizations of the Army not so much for the purpose of treating sick and lame animals as they are to keep the animals of their unit in an efficient and serviceable condition. The many duties they must perform to attain this object do not permit of their making a practice of operating, repeatedly dressing injuries and wounds, or giving continuous attention to every sick animal. They must therefore turn over to the mobile veterinary section all sick and lame animals requiring such attention, retaining under treatment in the organization only minor cases. It is absolutely beyond question that very sick or severely injured animals can be more economically treated and more quickly restored to a serviceable condition in base hospitals. In all cases, however, before animals are evacuated to mobile veterinary sections it is important that injuries and wounds receive careful and thorough attention. The early removal of foreign bodies, the prompt cleaning and disinfection of wounds, and proper dressing increase the rapidity of recovery. Care should be taken to guard against the evacuation of animals which are so seriously injured that their cure or restoration to a serviceable condition is very doubtful. Such animals should be immediately destroyed.

110.  A simple but effective system of veterinary control and care of sick will be organized by the veterinary officers in mobile organizations. Sick lines will be formed in each organization and all sick or injured animals of the organization will be sent to these lines, where they must remain while they continue in the organization. When an animal is placed on the sick list, it passes under the charge of the veterinary officer and remains in his charge until cured, evacuated, or until it dies or is destroyed. Veterinary officers are responsible that any animal destroyed by the order of the division veterinarian or on their own instruction is destroyed in their presence.

111.  The position of a veterinary officer during action is as follows:

        (a)  Veterinary officer attached to Artillery regiment, with wagon line.

        (b)  Veterinary officer attached to Infantry brigade. with first line transport.


        (c)  Veterinary officer of trains, with headquarters train or as directed by the division veterinarian.

If called to perform any duty elsewhere, he will leave information with his noncommissioned officer in regard to his whereabouts and return to his position as soon as possible after attending to the particular duty.


112.  The duties of the veterinary officer assigned to the inspection of the meat of a division in the theater of operations are analogous to those required of the officer holding a similar position in the service of the interior.


113.  Mobile veterinary sections are field units, one being allotted to each division and to each Cavalry brigade.

114.  Their function is to take charge of sick and injured animals sent to them and to convey them to a base hospital.

115.  Subject to the orders of the division commander, their movements are controlled by the division veterinarian.

116.  Sick and injured animals are shipped from the nearest railroad point to a base hospital in a returning supply train. The veterinary officer commanding the mobile section will report to the railroad commandant, who will detail cars for the purpose.

117.  A conducting party of one man per car and one non­commissioned officer in charge will be sent with each consignment, every man being provided with a bucket for watering on route.

118.  A statement in duplicate showing number of horses transferred will be sent with the conducting party, one copy being signed by the receiving officer and returned as a receipt.

119.  All cases will be dressed and attended to previous to dispatch. Particular attention is to be given to the provision of sufficient fodder for the journey and that animals are securely tied.

120.  The officer commanding the receiving hospital is responsible for the return of the conducting party without delay. On reaching the railroad the party will travel on the supply column wagons or trucks to refilling point, from thence rejoining sections.


121.  On dispatch of each consignment, the officer commanding the mobile veterinary section will notify the division veterinarian and the officer commanding the receiving hospital, giving numbers and date, the latter being notified by wire.

122.  In the case of mange, car numbers and initials will be included in these telegrams, and horse covers or blankets will accompany the animals to the hospital.

123.  During active operations one or more veterinary collecting stations will be established by the mobile section in the vicinity of the bulk of the animals of the division in action. The situation of such dressing stations will be announced in divisional orders. Wounded or injured animals will be sent direct to the nearest station. During a stationary action veterinary officers attached to mobile organizations will endeavor to organize first-aid dressing stations in their unit and will send all wounded horses, after they have received first aid, in bunches to the collecting station, placing the senior noncommissioned officer in charge of the party with instructions to prevent all straggling and to return with his party at once on completion of his duty. During a moving action veterinary officers will still endeavor to organize a system of evacuating wounded horses and so prevent great and unnecessary straggling. During an action veterinary officers will keep the division veterinarian advised of the animal casualties sustained daily in their organizations.

124.  Where deemed desirable by the corps commander, the mobile veterinary sections of the divisions comprising the corps may be combined to form a corps mobile veterinary section.


125.  Base veterinary hospitals are stationary organizations located on lines of communication at such places as circumstances indicate to be advisable. The choice of a site for a base hospital will necessarily be influenced by local conditions, but consideration should be given to its accessibility to the railroad station or siding at which animals consigned to it would be unloaded, the adequacy of the water supply, and the facilities for obtaining supplies and forage. Advantage should be taken of any available buildings which can be adapted to the requirements of a hospital in providing shelter for sick and debilitated animals. When no buildings are available, the hospital will be


constructed according to plans suggested by the chief veterinarian in cooperation with the Quartermaster Corps and approved by the commander in chief.

126.  Base hospital accommodation will be provided on a basis of 10 per cent of animal strength.

127.  All sick and injured animals, except those which may be treated in the organization to which they belong or in the mobile veterinary section, will be transferred to a base hospital for treatment, and when cured will be transferred to the nearest remount depot.

128.  In all hospitals suitable provision should be made for the proper isolation of animals affected with, or exhibiting symptoms suspicious of, communicable disease. All cases of serious communicable disease will be reported immediately to the assistant chief veterinarian of the line of communications in which the hospital is located, the source of infection being stated.

129.  The mallein test will be applied to all animals received at base hospitals as soon as their condition will permit, unless the most advanced base hospital acts as a receiving hospital and the test is made there before the animals are transferred to other hospitals. Individual base hospitals will be used exclusively for cases of a particular kind when this appears to be advisable. The mallein test will again be applied to every animal when it is about to be discharged from the hospital.

130.  A record will be kept of each case treated in the hospital. This record will show the number of the animal, the organization to which it belongs, the date of its receipt, condition, previous history, diagnosis, treatment, a daily record of the condition and treatment, date of termination of the case, the date and result of the mallein test, and disposition made of the animal.

131.  The senior veterinary officer will give a receipt for animals received at the hospital and will take a receipt for animals turned over to remount depots.

132.  The senior veterinary officer will be in charge of the hospital and will be responsible for the sanitary condition of the hospital and of the quarters or localities occupied by the personnel.

133.  He will arrange for a systematic disposal, by burning or other methods, of refuse and of carcasses of animals dying in the hospital.

134.  He will furnish to the proper officer the reports required by Army Regulations of officers commanding units. He


will also telegraph to the chief veterinarian by noon of each day a report of the number of animals admitted, cured, and delivered to remount depot, died, destroyed, condemned and sold, and remaining under treatment. A copy of this telegram will be forwarded to the assistant chief veterinarian of the line of communications on which the hospital is located. Every Friday evening the senior veterinary officer will make up a report for the week covering the same points and in addition giving the diseases or conditions affecting the animals. This report will be made in triplicate, one copy being sent to the chief veterinarian, one to the assistant chief veterinarian of the line of communications on which the hospital is located, and one retained.


135.  One or more veterinary convalescent depots will be located on the line of communications, as circumstances indicate. They are intended for the reception of such cases as require only rest and good feeding.

136.  Arrangements for these, whether in open fields or farms, will depend upon climatic conditions, or upon the feasibility of obtaining land suitable for the purpose.


137.  A division of veterinary supplies will be maintained in  each medical supply depot.


138.  The duties of veterinary officers attached to field remount depots will be analogous to those laid down for officers holding similar positions in the service of the interior. On all professional matters they will report to the chief veterinarian through the assistant chief veterinarian of the line of communication.


139.  An officer of the Veterinary Corps will be stationed in the office of the surgeon, base group, to attend to the correspondence, reports, and other documents relating to the personnel of the Veterinary Corps.