CPT Jessica Bowden, Field Veterinarian

Captain Jessica Bowden is a Field Veterinarian(64A). She chose her career first, and then decided to become an Army Soldier after learning about the scholarship opportunities for her career field. Learn more about her story.

Read Transcript

My name is Captain Jessica Bowden. I am a 64A which is a field veterinarian  

I actually chose the career first, and then the Army. So I was applying to Vet school and heard about a scholarship program that the Army offers called the Health Professionals Scholarship Program…so I actually did two years of Veterinary school before I joined the Army.

My life totally changed as soon as I got the scholarship. It was, like, a weight lifted off of my shoulders for me.  

I’m a civilian veterinarian. I am a doctor every day, no matter if I am wearing this [uniform] or not. I could go today in a practice, not in the Army. 

I see patients three days a week and I do surgeries, I do dentals, I do everything a normal veterinarian does. We also take care of the military working dogs, which is a really cool part of my job. 

I am a food inspector. I have a bunch of soldiers that work under me that are food inspectors. I go on commercial audits. I go to the different food facilities on post and do what’s called food sanitary inspections, to make sure everything is good and safe practices.

One of my favorite parts of my job is taking care of the working dogs. So we have a bunch of military working dogs here at Ft. Knox. One of my favorite ones, Dax, came in today. Dax was having hip problems, so he needs to come in for regular check-ups. Usually I just do a physical exam on him, talk to the handler, make sure he’s still doing ok, and see if we need to adjust his medications any. 

I think a lot of future bosses love to see that you were in the Army because it automatically comes with this, like, assumption that you are a leader and you are capable of taking care of other people.  

The biggest thing for me is that the Army is letting me use what I went to school for so I’m not doing something totally different. I’m doing what I was taught and more.