How are Animals Used in America’s Military Medical Corps?

January 23, 2020

A military working dog and its military police handler inspect vehicles. Image from publication.

Since the dawn of time, human beings and animals have co-existed. Animals are worshipped, eaten, used for clothes, and are man’s best friend. Not only have they been on the frontlines of our daily lives, but also of war. From wars in Ancient Rome to the Civil War, World War I, World War II, and to the war in Iraq, there is no war animals have not been a part of. The publication Military Veterinary Services from the Borden Institute’s Textbooks of Military Medicine series available at the GPO bookstore consists of a collection of essays that sheds light on the close relationship between the U.S. military and animals. It is worth reading to expand your traditional understanding of which animals are being used by the military and how they are being used. You will be surprised by what you learn, and by how much you come to appreciate these animals. Below are a few gems highlighted in this work.

When George Washington so famously demanded, “A regiment of horse with a farrier” be built, he realized that by taking care of animals, we are ultimately taking care of ourselves; in doing so, he set the blueprint for the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps. The Veterinary Corps, founded in 1916, is one of six corps that fall under the U.S. Army Medical Department. In 1980, it began providing veterinary services to all military branches. The purpose of the Veterinary Corps is to protect the warfighter by conducting food safety inspections, providing animal defense functions, providing veterinary public health services to animals (medical and surgical), and performing biomedical research (related to diseases). This book details how exactly the Veterinary Corps accomplishes this mission statement.

Food safety

In the past, lack of regulation led to filthy and dangerous conditions in American food factories. Food conditions abroad were even worse. This created problems for soldiers stationed domestically and abroad. This issue of food safety was systematically tackled by the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps. The Corps began inspecting military facilities domestically and abroad, continuously monitoring the quality of food sources available to soldiers, in hopes of preventing disease and harm to soldiers.

 Animals and defense

We know the role animals play in our everyday lives, but what role do they play in the military? The Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines, and the Coast Guard all use military working animals. The military’s use of animals depends on the mission. Dogs are used for security, law enforcement, combat tracking, and explosives and narcotics detection, while horses were primarily used for cavalry in the past, but are now used more for ceremonial purposes. But did you know the military also uses dolphins, beluga whales, sea lions, special operations horses, mules, carrier pigeons, and peacocks? Peacocks serve as security alarms at select government facilities; pigeons were not only used in ancient times, but also as early as WWI and WWII as information carriers; and sea lions and dolphins are used for swimmer defense and object recovery. In the civilian world, animals are often used as mascots to give spirit to a cause or a sports team or political party. The military is no different. The Army uses a mule, the Navy uses a goat, the Marines use a bulldog, the Air force uses a falcon, and the Coast Guard has several animal mascots, of which the most famous is a Rottweiler named “Sinbad”.

 Animals and medicine

A veterinary technician, bandages the paw of a scout dog c.1945. Image from publication.

Animals are also used for medical purposes. In light of studies confirming the effectiveness of animal companionship in reducing blood pressure, helping relieve anxiety, and in combatting depression and stress, pets are often given to soldiers, especially ones returning from war.

That said, with all that animals do for us, they too get depressed, get diseases, and sometimes are even casualties of war. The Veterinary Corps realized that by taking care of animals we are ultimately taking care of ourselves. Dr. Calvin Schwabe, the father of veterinary epidemiology, coined the term, “One medicine,” which says the well-being of animals depends on the well-being of humans, and vice versa. Zoonotics, sicknesses passed on from animals, amounts to 60 percent of known human pathogens. This is one example of animal-human linkage. In the Civil war, nurses helped control the spread of rabies. This threat emerged again a century later in the Vietnam War. The Veterinary Corps works diligently researching and finding solutions to such problems, learning from the past, and setting a path for the future.

The emphasis the Veterinary Corps places on understanding this animal-human linkage is echoed in its structure, and is displayed by the relationship between its physicians and veterinarians. Although the two professions don’t interact much in the civilian sector, that is not the case in the military. In fact, despite serving two separate populations, physicians and veterinarians often receive identical training (See Military Veterinary Services, chapter 13, introduction, section titled “Implementation of the One Health concept” for further detail).

In conclusion, this authoritative resource covers many areas about animals in the armed forces. However, the majority of the publication focuses on the medical veterinary services. The essays featured in this volume cover a range of topics from detailing the activities of MEDEVAC (movement of animal and human casualties from the battle field), to the history of military working dogs to the history of privately owned animal care facilities in the U.S. Army, and everything in between.

Additionally, Preventive health: preventive veterinary care and Veterinary connections produced by the Army Public Health Center can be found through search in the Catalog of Government Publications.

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Order by Phone or Email: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.  Email orders to ContactCenter@gpo.gov

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About the authorBlogger contributor Mohammed Butt is a Technical Services Librarian in GPO’s Library Services & Content Management unit.


Discover Occupational Health Strategies for America’s Military Personnel

January 10, 2020

What does occupational health mean for the members of our armed forces? What challenges do service members face that we don’t usually think of or aren’t even aware of, and how does the military protect their health when they are at home and when they are deployed?

WWII flight surgeon and 2 hospital corpsmen, excerpt from publication.

The comprehensive textbook, Occupational Health and the Service Member, dives into these issues. Each branch of the military has extensive programs in place to monitor and assess workplaces and health hazards. This fascinating textbook traces the evolution of those programs over time, showing that some issues remain constant and others are new to each century.

The book helps you understand the structure of military medicine and who is responsible for what, in all the branches of the services. It also provides references to laws, directives, and policies that apply to these concerns. Finally, the book includes information to help the medical professionals treating service members consider and identify exposure cases, as well as provide useful treatment for maintaining good health, wherever the soldier is deployed or serving. It also archives information on exposures that may be of concern among deployed service members, documenting the data repositories development for registries, as well as studies conducted with this data.

Some of the health issues potentially facing service members and their healthcare providers include:

  • Long-term noise exposure and its associated impact on hearing
  • Asbestos or lead exposure
  • Radiation and chemical hazards
  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • High altitude exposure and decompression sickness
  • Carbon monoxide exposure from weapons firing and other sources
  • Beryllium disease

US Navy Mk V Mod 1 diving helmet used c.1905-1980.

As is evident with many other product titles within the popular, Textbooks of Military Medicine series, this volume presents historical relevance of warfare and work environment exposures that are part of military personnel duties and an overview of assessments for possible medical treatments from past decades and wars to 21st Century public health challenges within military service occupations.

If you are interested in more about this topic, check out the Borden Institute, which develops and publishes military medical scholarship.

Don’t miss the Images from the History of Medicine in the National Library of Medicine’s digital collections if you want to see over 70,000 fascinating photos and drawings from the 15th century to the present. This collection includes lots of images of military personnel and places.

And one last thought to consider: could you pass the new Army Combat Fitness Test?

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Shop Online Anytime: You can buy a vast majority of eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at https://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Visit our Retail Store: To buy or order a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up(s).

Order by Phone or Email: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.  Email orders to ContactCenter@gpo.gov

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

Find more than a million official Federal Government publications from all three branches at www.govinfo.gov.

About the authorBlogger contributor Lara Flint is an Outreach Librarian in GPO’s Library Services & Content Management unit.


The Evolution of Forward Surgery in the U.S. Army

August 30, 2019

As its title suggests, The Evolution of Forward Surgery in the US Army: From the Revolutionary War to the Combat Operations of the 21st Century from the Borden Institute describes forward U.S. Army surgery from the Revolutionary War to the present.

From a historical perspective, this comprehensive book explains the advances in medicine and forward surgical care provided to wounded and ill soldiers on the frontline. The book opens with the role of military medicine and its impact on casualty care from the Revolutionary War to the War of 1812. In particular, it discusses the impact of disease during the Revolutionary War through the post-Civil War period.

Advancements in medicine continued to progress after the Civil War into World War I. By the time the U.S. Army entered into WWI, the Army Medical Department had evolved considerably. The book explains how new technologies in forward surgery impacted the “great war.” Advances in medications, lifesaving transfusions, and transportation vehicles such as motorized ambulances were introduced during this period.

Additionally, the research further describes Army forward surgery in WWII and its impact on an international level as well the wars that followed. It discusses the medical and surgical care of the various theater campaigns during WWII, particularly the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations, focusing on forward surgery. Forward surgery continued to evolve during the Korean and Vietnam Wars which introduced the need for Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals (MASH) and helicopter medical evacuations. These advancements provided immediate accessibility to administer surgical care to wounded soldiers near the front lines.

More recent wars showcase advances in radiography, blood collection, pain management, MEDEVAC units, anesthesia equipment, and improved operating room lighting for better surgical conditions and outcomes.

The text concludes with the designation of a formal forward surgical team and its challenges during the Global War on Terrorism as well as a final chapter discussion on homeland defense, contingency operations, and future directions.

Evolution of Forward Surgery in the US Army: From the Revolutionary War to the Combat Operations of the 21st Century is available in a variety of formats from various outlets. To learn more click here.

Find more resources published by the U.S. Army Borden Institute

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Shop Online Anytime: You can buy a vast majority of eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at https://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Visit our Retail Store: To buy or order a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up(s).

Order by Phone or Email: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.  Email orders to ContactCenter@gpo.gov

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

Find more than a million official Federal Government publications from all three branches at www.govinfo.gov.

About the author: Blogger contributor Trudy Hawkins is the the Sr. Marketing & Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication & Information Sales Division supporting the U.S. Government Online Bookstore.


The Latest Advancements in Emergency War Surgery

August 12, 2019

The U.S. Army’s Borden Institute continues on the cutting edge of medical advancements with its new Emergency War Surgery 5th edition publication now available for FREE download in PDF and other formats. This edition features the latest practices in combat casualty care, such as weapons effects and war wounds, damage control surgery, biological warfare agents, and mass casualty and triage from battlefield experiences in Afghanistan, Iraq and wherever America’s warriors are serving.

The publication is especially helpful to nonsurgical personnel, including emergency room physicians, medical researchers, and pre-med students to identify patients who need more advanced care. This latest edition also offers a chapter featuring Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) providing for the first time evidence-based, lifesaving methods at the point of injury. It also updates the Clinical Practice Guidelines, and adds new information about blood collection and transfusions.

This edition extends the scope and value of battlefield proven studies for applications that can serve global academic and healthcare professionals engaged in life-saving emergency practices and operations.

While the focus of the Borden Institute’s medical advancement studies are designed to serve America’s military medical needs, unquestionably the value of the Institute’s work goes beyond combat zones.

Emergency War Surgery 5th US Revision, in addition to saving U.S military lives, offers the medical knowledge to successfully address potential civilian medical crisis as well.

Find more resources published by the U.S. Army Borden Institute

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS RESOURCE?

Sign up to receive promotional bulletin emails from the US Government Online Bookstore.

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy a vast majority of eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at https://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Visit our Retail Store: To buy or order a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up(s).

Order by Phone or Email: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.  Email orders to ContactCenter@gpo.gov

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

Find more than a million official Federal Government publications from all three branches at www.govinfo.gov.

About the author: Blogger contributor Trudy Hawkins is the the Sr. Marketing & Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication & Information Sales Division supporting the U.S. Government Online Bookstore.


Lessons Learned from the Borden Institute

June 18, 2019

The Borden Institute, the U.S. Army “Center of Excellence in Military Medical Research and Education,” is renowned for its comprehensive reference books on the art and science of military medicine.

Now, in its 5th US Revision, Emergency War Surgery incorporates Tactical Casualty Combat Care to provide evidence-based, lifesaving techniques and strategies for providing the best trauma care on the battlefield.  The Tactical Casualty Combat Care chapter will provide first responders with the tools to adequately address wounds at the point of injury. The publication expertly addresses the appropriate medical management of blast wounds, burns, and multiple penetrating injuries, as well as other battle and non-battle injuries. This edition also includes updates in Clinical Practice Guidelines, with expanded coverage in the areas of blood collection and transfusions. The chapters that deal with mass casualty, triage, and care from trauma surgeries may provide hands-on reference to many readers beyond military medicine.

“There is no comparable textbook on the best practices and principles of forward deployed trauma surgery.” – R.C. Bono, VADM, MC, USN and Director, Defense Health Agency

This publication is especially useful to nonsurgical personnel to identify patients who may need more advanced care. Major life saving techniques include triage, hemorrhage control, airway/breathing, shock and resuscitation, and more.

This new updated edition is now available as a FREE digital download in ePub, MOBI and PDF eBook formats at the U.S. Government Online Bookstore.

You can also find many other helpful medical and physician references in both print and digital formats published by the U.S. Army, Borden Institute here.

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS RESOURCE?

Sign up to receive promotional bulletin emails from the US Government Online Bookstore.

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy a vast majority of eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at https://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Visit our Retail Store: To buy or order a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up(s).

Order by Phone or Email: Call our Custoer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.  Email orders to ContactCenter@gpo.gov

Find more than a million official Federal Government publications from all three branches at www.govinfo.gov.

About the author: Blogger contributor Ed Kessler is a Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.


NEW! US Army Physician Assistant Handbook

January 2, 2019

The U.S. Army Medical Department, Borden Institute, recently released its new US Army Physician Assistant Handbook.

The Army Physician Assistant (PA) plays an important role throughout Army medicine. This comprehensive handbook by the Borden Institute, describes the myriad positions and organizations in which PAs display leadership roles in management and patient care. Chapters also cover PA education, certification, continuing training, and career progression. Topics include the Interservice PA Program, assignments at the White House and the Old Guard (3d US Infantry Regiment), and roles in research and recruiting, as well as the PA’s role in emergency medicine, aeromedical evacuation, clinical care, surgery, and occupational health.

US Army Physician Assistant Handbook is an excellent resource for military and civilian healthcare providers as well as emergency first responders.

This print publication which is also available as a FREE downloadable eBook is available from the US Government Online Bookstore in an ePub, MOBI or PDF format.

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS RESOURCE?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at https://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

Find more than a million official Federal Government publications from all three branches at www.govinfo.gov.

About the author: Blogger contributor Ed Kessler is a Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.


NEW! Medical Aspects of Biological Warfare eBook

December 31, 2018

The U.S. Army Medical Department, Borden Institute, recently released its new Medical Aspects of Biological Warfare eBook.

Reflecting the critical threat posed by biological warfare and terrorism in a post 9-11 world, Medical Aspects of Biological Warfare now in its second edition, addresses the weaponization of biological agents, categorizing potential agents as food, waterborne, or agricultural agents or toxins, and discusses their respective epidemiology. Recent advances in biomedical knowledge are presented that include descriptions of individual agents and the illnesses induced. Authors discuss biotoxins and explain methods for early identification for anthrax, plague, smallpox, alphaviruses, and staphylococcal enterotoxins. Case studies and research on successful management practices, treatments, and antidotes are also included.

Medical Aspects of Biological Warfare, 2e is an excellent resource for military healthcare providers and emergency first responders. Specialists in biological warfare and terrorism may also have an interest in this authoritative material.

This free downloadable eBook is available from the US Government Online Bookstore in an ePub, MOBI or PDF format.

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS RESOURCE?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at https://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

Find more than a million official Federal Government publications from all three branches at www.govinfo.gov.

About the author: Blogger contributor Ed Kessler is a Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.


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