Participants in the 2018 Annual Military Veterinary Research and Development Short Course completed another successful year by wrapping up their course in Silver Spring, Maryland, April 9-13.

Sponsored by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, the five-day course provides 40 total hours of education, training and exposure related to Department of Defense research and development mission requirements. Participants came from across the U.S. and included those that are stationed outside of the U.S. as well.

The course serves as the principal recruiting tool geared towards Veterinary Corps Officers. The course exposes participants to research and development specialization offered via the U.S. Army Long Term Health Education and Training program, providing a unique glimpse into the career opportunities available and giving attendees the exclusive opportunity to really see what a day would be like in the life of a lab animal veterinarian, a pathology veterinarian, or a scientific researcher in comparative medicine.

"The large segment of the Veterinary Corps involved in Medical Research and Development missions contribute immeasurably to the overall military effort," said Lt. Col. Sarah Bro, executive officer for the Animal Care and Use Review Office, part of the USAMRMC Office of Research Protections. "Vaccine, antitoxin, and antidote development, directed toward the protection of military personnel, has been and will continue to be, heavily reliant on military veterinary expertise."

The course participants visited six different U.S. Army institutes where they were able to have hands-on animal interactions and facility tours. Seeing the different Army Medicine research facilities where Veterinary Corps Service Members work is always a highlight for the participants.

"It was fantastic getting to tour all of the research facilities and being able to hear about their missions," shared one student. "I plan on applying for one of the programs in 2020."

A 2017 participant added, "Hearing from the principal investigators was fantastic. It was great to see how vets and the principal investigators work together and what the research accomplishes."

Participants visited the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense, the Joint Pathology Center and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

"This course is a very successful recruiting tool for the Army," said Bro. "In 2017, 14 out of 15 attendees reported by survey they would apply to an R&D program. In 2018, eight of nine attendees committed to applying to an R&D specialty. By having educational courses such as the Veterinary Research and Development Short course, the Army ensures that the Veterinary Corps will be able to continue its broad functions of food safety and security, animal care, veterinary public health, and research and development."