To make sure we are on the same page, take a look at some definitions.Although there are many leadership theories, most agree on what it is. About Coach Gwen: an advisor to leaders at all levels and encourager by nature, she loves to help people be their very best. Leadership and conflict highlights the fact that conflict is inevitable when two are more come together. Leadership and Styles relate to those styles that directly impact a leader's ability to get work done through others. Knowing the most popular leadership models helps us to build our own effective style. Such a basic model to lead the staff, and my favorite, is based on situational leadership theory, developed by Dr. If not, it is very likely that your company is among those that give guns to their employees, indicate the target, place a screen in front of the target results and shout "Fire!". The basic leadership model, described above, is one of the methods that allow employees to "see" exactly how many marks they hit. I arrived at Tufts for my first year of veterinary school convinced that I would at least apply for the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP). At Tufts, I quickly connected with a couple of third and fourth year students who already had HPSP scholarships. Ah, those were the days in the mid-2000s, when the Department of Defense was rolling in money.
This negative impression got me thinking, If the Army really wants to recruit the best people to apply as future officers and health professionals, can’t they find someone a little more suited to the job? I knew that my interactions with Sergeant Recruiter would be limited, and that I needed to swallow my frustrations and make it work.
My first exposure to the real Army came when I took a two hour drive out to the nearest Army installation to get the required medical screening (aka, the Military Entrance Processing Station, or MEPS) done for my application. I had arrived expecting a typical medical appointment, but after waiting in line for my first two hours I realized this was going to be anything but ordinary. I honestly felt like I was at one of the sale barns that I grew up going to with my dad, but this time I was the animal being trotted around the ring and auctioned off to the highest bidder! Much to my relief, the paperwork I collected at the end of the day had a big stamp across the top stating “APPROVED”. This is actually an important thing to understand as you consider your own decision to apply for the HPSP scholarship or join the Army in some other way.  The military is quite strict about their physical requirements.
At this point in the early second semester of my first year at vet school, I was already deeply into the rest of the HPSP application’s tedious requirements. I had just come off a year between undergrad and vet school in which I traveled all over Europe and the Middle East, so I was a little worried that my months in Lebanon and Jordan might raise some unnecessary red flags on this background check for my secret security clearance.
I knew that the people sitting on the board who would decide on these scholarships were a mix of high ranking officers from a variety of different fields.
I will freely admit that I was a tad generous with myself as I penned these inspiring words. This was the moment to let all my patriotism and honest interest in a military career shine! I also asked a couple of Army veterinarians I had gotten to know through phone and e-mail conversations to take a look at my essay and share their advice about making it stronger and more convincing. Check back next week to read about one final hurdle before I was faced with a life-changing decision. Make sure you continue on to the third article in the Army Veterinarian series, in which I discuss making the final decision to accept the HPSP scholarship and share the details about my commissioning ceremony. I have no doubt that I will lose the weight before the application deadline, but in the meantime I am gathering as much information about the program as I possibly can, trying to get all of my questions answered to make sure this is the right choice for me.
As I said on your FaceBook page, I have been mulling over applying for the HPSP since my junior year of undergrad. My concern, however, is that I have been preparing, and am going to continue preparing, myself for a career in equine medicine. Trevor got in touch on my contact page and we just finished talking on Skype for almost an hour about some of his more specific questions about the HPSP and being a vet in the Army.
I will definitely be on the lookout for your information regarding other loan repayment programs. Good question, and these are some of things I plan to write more about in articles about life as an Army vet post-vet school. However, this was kind of a reward after being separated while I was on an unaccompanied assignment in Egypt for a year.
We have actually gotten back to the States about every four months or so since we’ve been in Italy, with a combination of training or conferences for me, free military flights, and lots of frequent flier miles. Regarding a deployment overseas or to a combat zone, your status as a dual military couple would not really have any impact on that. As a vet, you would most likely not attend your officer basic training until after you finish vet school, so unless your old poodle has a miraculously long life you probably won’t need to worry about him.
The way you go above and beyond to personally help those of us just on the other side of the profession is fantastic! I know if I want to to get the HSPS I have to go to the US school but I am also interested in vets who join up after school. My main concern about being a vet in the army is feeling that you’re neither fully in the army nor fully a clinician. If you really want to get large animal and production experience, then the Army may not be the best place for you. I applied during my first year of vet school so I only had to submit that fall semester’s grades.
Then those companies management goes behind the screen and informs you, at their will, what you've hit.


I was disappointed to learn that I would be eligible for at most three years of scholarship, but I knew that this was still the best deal out there for me. They were incredibly helpful in sharing all the ups and downs they had experienced in working with our local Army recruiter. He was a well-intentioned enlisted soldier who had been in the Army for over twenty years, the last three of which had been spent recruiting health professional students in the Boston area.
He had been designated my primary gatekeeper into this whole potential world of Army veterinary medicine, and if I wanted any chance at success I needed to do my best to cultivate this relationship over the months ahead. The highlight was probably stripping down to my boxers, along with ten other guys, to walk, jog, stretch, and even duck walk across an exam room floor in front of a panel of evaluators. If they accept you now as a 25 year old, they are basically committing to the possibility of paying for your medical care for the rest of your life. How could paint an honest and inspiring picture of myself as the ideal future Army Veterinary Corps officer?
I didn’t say anything that wasn’t true, but I also didn’t focus on the fact that I really hadn’t thought about the military much before learning about the HPSP scholarship. I brought in the inspiring stories of my great-grandfather, a Presbyterian minister who enlisted in the Army and was killed in the trenches during World War I, and my grandfather, a plant pathologist who helped lead the Allied charge up through Italy in World War II. This was key, given my complete lack of experience in understanding military culture and expectations.
You can also find everything I’ve written about being an Army veterinarian on this dedicated page.
The Army runs in my blood, and as such, I have been drawn to the idea of a military experience. You raise some interesting questions and make me realize I should probably address some more of my own decision-making process in a future post. Currently, I am waiting for my interview for veterinary school, and my goal is to join the Army Vet Corps if I do actually end up getting accepted. I’ll have plenty more personal stories to share about my experiences as a vet in the Army, so stay tuned.
I actually only have 3.5 years in the Army so far, but I will be at 5 when my assignment here in Sicily ends. I’m always glad to talk with others in our little community of uncommon veterinarians and vets-to-be! The good news is that my family is with me here in Italy now, and we’ll be together here for three years! If accepted, I am very seriously considering the HPSP so that I can graduate debt free, travel, and have a guaranteed job after graduation. One of the poodles is over 15 and has slow growing cancer, serious arthritis, and is going blind. It’s definitely one of the best deals out there for vet students who want to minimize their student loan debt.
The military has recently improved their efforts to keep couples like this together, and they’ll do all they can to make sure you get your assignments together. Both of you (there are lots of vets in Afghanistan right now!) would likely be deployed as long as we are still at war, and it’s unlikely that you would be deployed together or at the same time.
Pretty much every Army veterinarian I know has pets, and we are able to bring them with us all over the world (except on combat deployments or certain short assignments to places like Kuwait, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia).
You would have to be okay with the possibility of leaving current and future pets with family, friends, or even a boarding facility if your husband and you were both required in some sort of field training or deployment at the same time, so just be aware of that.
I am in the process of applying for the HPSP and have some questions about the motivational statement.
Although we love living in Sicily, the inconsistency of our internet connection at home is one of the little annoying things that make life interesting.
You’ve clearly done your homework and are already way ahead of the game in thinking through this big decision. If you really want to go all out hooah Army, you will have the opportunity to do that in a TO&E (deployable) unit, or a Special Forces unit. Even if you do get into an SF or Civil Affairs job, the large animal work is still limited to basic vaccination campaigns on a pretty irregular basis. Though I am overjoyed to have been accepted to veterinary school, the reality of the debt awaiting me has made me second guess the decision to attend. I was able to make a 4.0 that semester after working incredibly hard mostly for this purpose of my HPSP application.
If you had prior service in the military or are able to swing an internship working with an Army vet prior to starting vet school, that would definitely make you stand out and be to your advantage. You can find everything I’ve written about being an Army veterinarian on this dedicated page.
Medical and dental students can apply for a four year scholarship prior to even starting professional school, but vet students can only get this full ride if they have prior service in the military or were a ROTC cadet as an undergraduate. Within a month or two of starting school, they took me and a few other interested first years out for a fancy seafood dinner on the Army’s bill! Current recruiters have to rely on the benefits of the program itself rather than buying poor vet students’ loyalty with expensive meals. Although he had learned a little bit about interacting with young, driven college graduates, we were clearly not the crowd that he normally hung out with after work.
This meant responding to phone calls and e-mails right away, filling out countless forms once, twice, and three times after they were repeatedly misplaced at the recruiting office, and swallowing my frustrations again and again. I found myself packed into an auditorium with what must have been about a hundred 17 year old guys and girls, all waiting to be poked, prodded, and otherwise physically humiliated in front of a series of Army medics and physicians. This means they want to rule out any pre-existing conditions that could make it difficult for you to function as a soldier or that might be expensive to manage for the military healthcare system.


If you can find a military physician who will sign off on your paperwork and state that the knee injury you suffered in high school will not affect your service in the Army, you should be good to go.
How about every foreign country you have visited, along with the dates and the purpose of the visit? I needed to convince them all that I was not only serious about being a good veterinarian, but that I was also motivated to use this education in the selfless service of my country! There was no reason to share that I sometimes wondered about our leaders’ motivation in committing U.S. At this point in time, however, I have scheduled three summer externships at equine clinics.
Briefly, though, yes I was seriously considering going into equine medicine for a while but basically knew by the end of my first year of vet school that I wanted to focus more on public health, wildlife, and research opportunities. The only thing giving me doubts about joining the Vet Corps has been having trouble finding people with personal (and current) experience with the Vet Corps.
The professional side of the program sounds really appealing, but I was wondering if you could tell me a little bit about how you balance your work and your personal life in army.
I’m usually traveling somewhere else in Europe or Africa for at least a week every month, but otherwise my job is a pretty regular schedule so I have lots of time to spend with my family. Being in Sicily, we are also somewhere that people like to visit so we’ve been able to host lots of guests as well! Over the last few years the percentages for HPSP applicants have been a lot better than for direct commissions. You will probably need to do one more traditional new captain assignment first, with the combination of MWDs, family pets, and food safety, but within the first couple of years you can usually transfer into a something you’re more interested in.
These assignments are competitive, but if you have the right combination of motivation and physical ability you should be able to get one. If I thought the HPSP were a viable option, it would make the choice to attend much easier. I was our SCAVMA first-year rep, which gave me a leadership title and also helped me stand out and get to know some of my professors a little better, which probably helped in their recommendations. I did not have anything like this, and I didn’t have anyone in the military write me letters of recommendation.
The higher the results against the average for the industry, the more successful the leaders are. According to this theory the correct leadership style of behavior is a function of the particular stage in the employee development and the characteristics of both, the leader and the employee. Just be aware that this process will be more tedious and difficult than you could probably imagine.
There Are some opportunities to work with horses as an Army vet, but these are few and far between so you can’t really count on getting one of those assignments. However, after finding your website, I have enjoyed reading what you have written so far and have found it very informative! It was helpful to hear directly from someone with 5 years of experience serving in the Army.
If you don’t mind me asking, does the army allow your wife and daughter to live in Italy with you? Your audience in this case is a panel of high-ranking military officers: some medical, maybe a vet or two, but coming from all backgrounds. I am worried that we will be stationed apart, or worse yet that he will be shipped overseas to a war zone. Unfortunately this seems to happen to most dual military couples at some point in their careers.
Given our country and military’s financial situation, you might also be best off going with the guaranteed now (HPSP scholarship) rather than the possible four or five years down the road.
It also comes with the greatest requirements of time and service and potentially life-altering effects! In terms of your chances of getting back on track to become an equine vet, I honestly don’t think that you would be in any less competitive than someone just graduating from vet school. I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your blog and that I look forward to reading your posts in the future!
Even if she doesn’t want to be a vet in the Army, there are also some other loan repayment programs for different types of government service which I hope to feature here on my site at some point. So, although you do need to give them confidence that you’ll be a great Army veterinarian, you need to convince them even more that you will also be a great Army officer (which involves a lot more than just our veterinary training).
Of course, it’s also possible that five years from now there will be a huge million dollar bonus for direct veterinary accessions, but I think that’s pretty unlikely! If so, is there any way to gain such experience in between now and applying (I will be a first year veterinary student this fall). You will be a much more mature person and better clinician already through your Army experience, so there is no reason you should be able to go right into an internship and then residency program. Like you, I only really ever considered joining the military once I learned about the possibility of this scholarship. The only difference, of course, is that you will have very little student debt and probably will have saved a good bit from three years on a captain’s salary!



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