In a room filled to the brim with friends, family, classmates, professors, and recruiting officers (one even joining via FaceTime), first-year DVM student Daniel Fields was commissioned into the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps. His father, U.S. Air Force Colonel Marty Fields, stood with his son at the front of the room and proudly issued the oath of office.

“The size of the crowd today truly reflects the character of your class,” said Jay Kyle (BS '88, DVM '93) associate director of student success and retired Veterinary Corps colonel. “It also reflects Daniel’s character.” 

Fields was one of around 40 selected nationally for the highly competitive Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP). The program covers tuition, fees, and some expenses during a student’s 2nd through 4th year, and requires additional coursework specific to the program. 

“I spoke to a handful of current and former Army veterinarians, and no two individuals had the same story,” said Fields about why he applied for the scholarship.  “One vet was stationed with airborne rangers, and found himself jumping out of planes! Another was more heavily involved in humanitarian missions, making several trips to different developing nations to help manage disease outbreaks and introduce modern medical practices to prevent them from reoccurring.”

DVM students standing on steps in the VMIA building.
Daniel Fields was joined by several of his classmates from the Class of 2026. Photo by Margie Christianson for Virginia Tech.

Upon graduation, Fields will be promoted to captain in the Veterinary Corps and begin an internship that will prepare him for his first military assignment. He had always wanted to join the military, and the HPSP scholarship and internship gave him the best path to that goal.

“As the son of a servicemember, I know how difficult it can be at times to be a military dependent,” he said. “So it's incredibly meaningful for me to get to care for family pets and support the military families in that regard.”

Fields earned his undergraduate degree in biology and global health from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with the goal of pursuing further education in human medicine. After realizing his passion for veterinary medicine, he spent five years working in a small animal general practice at Clarendon Animal Care in Arlington, Virginia, before joining the Class of 2026 last Fall.

“I'd say that I'm most excited for the unknown that awaits me,” said Fields.  “I'm excited to not only be able to continue my passion for small animal medicine, but also treat other animal species and pursue unique training and humanitarian opportunities that come my way.”

Written by Margie Christianson, communications manager for the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine


Andrew Mann
Director of Communications and Marketing