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    I've just finished my first year of vet school, and am seriously considering applying for the Army Medical Services Bursary at the end of next year. However I don't know much about how the army works, and have lots of questions to be answered before I sign up!

    - Does anyone know whether veterinary work is a majority of army vet life, or whether it is mainly "officer" work (and what des this include??)

    - Can you choose where you are deployed to?

    - What is the general role of an officer (aside from veterinary work)?

    - Once deployed, are you safe? This is the main thing for me, as I wouldn't mind being at the base in places like Afghanistan, but I would be more worried about land mines, combat and other times when my life would be put at risk! If I would be safe then I would almost certainly sign up straight away!

    If anyone who knows someone in the army or would be able to find this out for me I would be so so grateful! xx
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    You will solely be doing vet's work with the military working dogs and with the horses that are part of the cavalry regiments and Royal Horse Artillery.


    The work will probably be monotonous and mostly limited to horses and dogs (as far as I'm aware we don't have any other animals)

    You won't be doing any 'officer' work of leading and commanding troops except those who work with the animals.

    I highly doubt you'll deploy as:

    - The army doesn't seem to be in a fit state to deploy anywhere anytime soon
    - There's no political will for it
    - You'll be too valuable to risk dying

    Also, I imagine the pay will be bad compared to a civvy vet with her own practice. The hours will probably be much better, however.

    The military is a unique and challenging career but I doubt it's worth it as a vet.


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    ^There are a few ceremonial goats, I believe..?



    If and when the Army deploys large scale there's a chance you'll go. Can't guarantee this will happen, but it is a possibility that you have to accept if you join up. If you don't want / don't like that, then your only option is to not join. And no, you won't get a say in where you get deployed. You may get a say in where your 'home' base is next, but it's no more than a say.

    Yes, vets did get deployed to Afghanistan and yes they spent time 'outside the wire', they were a big part of helping the communities by teaching local farmers how to look after their livestock better. I even remember Countryfile doing a story on it. But you'd never be on your own. Would you be safe? As safe as anyone else. More so than infantry, but potentially less so than, say, a chef.

    While you won't be out charging down lines of infantry, you will do that in training, even on the 'special' course at Sandhurst and you'll never escape officer bureaucracy and paperwork.
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    (Original post by Supersaps)
    You will solely be doing vet's work with the military working dogs and with the horses that are part of the cavalry regiments and Royal Horse Artillery.


    The work will probably be monotonous and mostly limited to horses and dogs (as far as I'm aware we don't have any other animals)

    You won't be doing any 'officer' work of leading and commanding troops except those who work with the animals.

    I highly doubt you'll deploy as:

    - The army doesn't seem to be in a fit state to deploy anywhere anytime soon
    - There's no political will for it
    - You'll be too valuable to risk dying

    Also, I imagine the pay will be bad compared to a civvy vet with her own practice. The hours will probably be much better, however.

    The military is a unique and challenging career but I doubt it's worth it as a vet.


    SS

    Thank you for your reply! Are you in the RAVC/army? Do you think in 4 years time (when I graduate) there will be a similar situation? I think the pay starts at £38k which is very good for a vet without their own practice! Do you think it would be possible to have a normal civilian life alongside an army life, or does it take over completely?
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    ^There are a few ceremonial goats, I believe..?



    If and when the Army deploys large scale there's a chance you'll go. Can't guarantee this will happen, but it is a possibility that you have to accept if you join up. If you don't want / don't like that, then your only option is to not join. And no, you won't get a say in where you get deployed. You may get a say in where your 'home' base is next, but it's no more than a say.

    Yes, vets did get deployed to Afghanistan and yes they spent time 'outside the wire', they were a big part of helping the communities by teaching local farmers how to look after their livestock better. I even remember Countryfile doing a story on it. But you'd never be on your own. Would you be safe? As safe as anyone else. More so than infantry, but potentially less so than, say, a chef.

    While you won't be out charging down lines of infantry, you will do that in training, even on the 'special' course at Sandhurst and you'll never escape officer bureaucracy and paperwork.
    Thank you for clearing this up! Would you say that most time is spent within the base, working with military animals that are brought in, or would a veterinary officer go out to where the animal is injured/needs treatment?
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    (Original post by Lucy_1)
    Thank you for your reply! Are you in the RAVC/army? Do you think in 4 years time (when I graduate) there will be a similar situation? I think the pay starts at £38k which is very good for a vet without their own practice! Do you think it would be possible to have a normal civilian life alongside an army life, or does it take over completely?
    Currently serving, yes. I think the world is a very uncertain place so I can't speak with any authority on what will or what won't happen.

    Most of the forces are having manpower shortages, Drewski may know more about 2 rather large planeboats due in soon but with not enough manpower to run the rest of the fleet protecting the planeboat.

    The military budget is increasing but it's mostly going into alli areas like Special Forces and other sneaky beaky things.


    I strongly feel the army won't be doing much for the next decade. Maybe the RAF or the Navy but probably not the army.

    That said, it all may change.

    38k isn't bad for a starting salary. It's quite a lot higher than a regular officer. I'm not sure what's competitive in the vet world. Mostly, the army is terribly paid but you get looked after in other ways.
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    (Original post by Lucy_1)
    Thank you for clearing this up! Would you say that most time is spent within the base, working with military animals that are brought in, or would a veterinary officer go out to where the animal is injured/needs treatment?
    I'm afraid for specifics like that you'll need to talk to them directly. They'll have a recruiting presence on various social media platforms, have a look for them on Twitter and Facebook.
 
 
 
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