Contact Information

NAME:  Veterinary Readiness Activity, Italy


TELEPHONE:  +39-04446-19441

DSN:  314-636-9441

MAILING ADDRESS: Unit 31403, Box 54 APO, AE 09630-1403

About Veterinary Readiness Activity, Italy
Mission: Veterinary Readiness Activity, Italy provides public health and veterinary medical services in support of European Command, Africa Command, and Central Command to enable readiness, conserve the fighting strength, and protect the health of those we are privileged to serve.

Vision: The first line of defense against preventable disease - the foundation for readiness.

Veterinary Readiness Activity, Italy​ History

Veterinary Readiness Activity, Italy traces its origins to Veterinary Detachment, Medical Group, 7779th Army Unit. After World War II, the headquarters of the 7779th Army Unit was combined with the Quartermaster Market Center in Frankfurt, Germany. The unit was responsible for animal-origin food inspection in the areas not covered by area commands within Germany or by the Berlin command, the Bremerhaven Port of Embarkation, or the U.S. Army Europe Communication Zone. The unit had two branches located at The Hague, Holland and Odense, Denmark in addition to various sections located throughout Holland, Denmark, Belgium, Germany, and the former Yugoslavia.

Veterinary Detachment, Medical Group, 7779th Army Unit deactivated on November 15, 1956 and reorganized as U.S. Army, Europe Veterinary Detachment 7719th. On July 1, 1957, the name changed to U.S. Army Veterinary Detachment, Europe and the unit was assigned to U.S. Army Communication Zone, Europe.

The unit headquarters later moved to Giessen, Germany along with the U.S. Army Quartermaster Supply Center on July 1, 1958. The U.S. Army Veterinary Detachment, Europe was assigned to the 819th Hospital Center on March 15, 1963 and later to U.S. Army Medical Command, Europe on July 1, 1968 where it remained until reorganized as the 7th Medical Command on September 21, 1978. On September 16, 1986, the 34th Medical Detachment Veterinary Services (VS) was activated in Vicenza, Italy. As part of the reorganization of our military forces in Europe following the fall of the Berlin wall and breakup of the former Soviet Union, the 34th Medical Detachment (VS) remained as such through the inactivation of 7th Medical Command and task organization under the 30th Medical Brigade in October 1994.

On January 16, 1995, the 34th Medical Detachment (VS) was renamed Southern Europe Veterinary Detachment. The SEVD area of responsibility varied over the years to encompass missions in Austria, Crete, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Morocco, Portugal, Romania, Spain, South Africa, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine and the former Yugoslavia.

On January 4, 2012, when U.S. Army Veterinary Command merged with the Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine to form U.S. Army Public Health Command, the unit was re-designated as PHCD-SE. On July 1, 2015, following the inactivation of USAPHC and reorganization of U.S. Army MEDCOM, PHCD-SE was task organized under Public Health Command-Europe which is currently subordinate to Regional Health Command-Europe. On October 1, 2016 the name was changed to Public Health Activity-Italy. Following the Army Medical Command Transformation to Readiness in late 2022, the unit was redesignated as Veterinary Readiness Activity, Italy on 15 March 2024.
Today, VRA, I provides Food Safety and Defense, Animal Medicine, Zoonotic Disease Surveillance, Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene from its seven branches within the UK, Spain, Turkey and Italy supporting 26 countries in Europe and Africa, remaining one of the most geographically-dispersed veterinary units in the Army.


Lieutenant Colonel Serena Mukai

U.S. Army Medical Service Corps

Lieutenant Colonel Serena Mukai was born and raised in Hawaii. Upon graduation from High School, she attended New Mexico Military Institute on an Army ROTC scholarship. In 2001, upon completion of her associate degree she received her commission into the Army National Guard as a Transportation officer. She attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa where she completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology, completed her Athletic Training and Exercise Physiology internships, and served as a Gold Bar recruiter. LTC Mukai entered Active Duty as a Medical Service Corps officer in 2004. In 2013, she completed her Army-Baylor residency in healthcare administration at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia. From 2019-2020, she also served as a Health Policy executive fellow with Kaiser Permanente.

She is currently the Commander for Veterinary Readiness Activity, Italy; directly supporting 7 Veterinary Readiness platforms geographically dispersed throughout 1 Army, 3 Air Force, and 3 Navy installations across 5 supported countries (Italy, Greece, UK, Spain, and Turkiye). Her prior assignments include Transportation Platoon Leader and Brigade Strength Accounting Officer/Assistant S-1 with the 29th SIB, Hawaii; Battalion Maintenance Officer and Battalion S-4, 168th ASMB, Korea; Deputy Support Operations Officer and Chief, Customer Support, 16th MEDLOG BN, Korea; Company Commander and Chief, Clinical Support Division, Raymond W. Bliss Army Health Center, Arizona; Battalion S-4 and Medical Logistics Officer, 31st Combat Support Hospital, Afghanistan; Executive Officer and Troop Commander, USA Dental Command-Pacific, Hawaii; Chief, Managed Care Division for the Regional Health Command-Pacific, Washington, and the Commander, 98th Medical Detachment (Combat Operational Stress Control), 29th Hospital Center, 62nd Medical Brigade, Washington.

She has completed the Army and AMEDD Pre-Command Courses, Command and General Staff College, multiple Installation Commander/1SG courses, AMEDD Captain’s Career Course, AMEDD Officer Basic Course, Health Services Materiel Officer’s Course, and the Army-Baylor Healthcare Administrator Course. She also attended the FORSCOM High Potential Leader Development Program and the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences Medical Executive Skills Course. She is also a board-certified Fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE), a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and Lean Leader, and a member of both the Order of Military Medical Merit (O2M3) and the Silver Caduceus Association.

Her awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (3 OLC), Army Commendation Medal (2 OLC), Army Achievement Medal (3 OLC), National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Meritorious Unit Commendation award, Army Superior Unit Award, and the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge (Gold).
First sergeant

First Sergeant George C. Lehman 

First Sergeant George C. Lehman is from San Diego, California. He graduated from Williamsburg High School and enlisted 31 October 2003. He completed basic combat training at Fort Sill, OK and attended advanced individual training at Fort Sam Houston, TX, earning the MOS 68R, Veterinary Food Inspection Specialist.

His various assignments include: Food Inspector, Ft. Benning, GA; Food Inspection NCO, Lakehurst Naval Air Station, NJ; Team Leader, 72nd MDVSS, Ft. Campbell, KY; Squad Leader, San Diego Naval Air Station, CA; BN Operations NCO, 421st MMB, Baumholder, GE; Chief Instructor/Writer, MEDCoE, JBSA, TX; BDE Operations NCO, Public Health Command-Atlantic, Ft. Mead, MD; First Sergeant, Public Health Activity-Fort Belvoir; and currently serves as the First Sergeant for Veterinary Readiness Activity, Italy. He has deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom  09-10.
His military and civilian education includes the Basic Leaders Course, Advanced Leaders Course, Senior Leaders Course, Master Leaders Course, Modern Army Combatives Level One and Two, OPSEC Program Managers Course, Master Drivers Course, Total Army Ammunition Managers Course, Emergency Medical Technician Course, Unit Armorer Course, Instructor Training Course, Cadre Trainers Course, Small Group Instructor Course, Basic Lifesaver Course, Combat Lifesaver Course, Defense Support to Civil Authorities Course, Master Resilience Trainers Course, Company Commander/First Sergeant Course, and the Air Assault Course (Honor Graduate). He holds an Associate Degree in Supervision and Management. 
His awards and decorations include the Meritorious Unit Citation; Public Health Service Outstanding Unit Citation; Army Superior Unit Award (2 Bronze OLCs); Meritorious Service Medal (1 OLC);  Army Commendation Medal (1 Silver & 3 Bronze OLC); Army Achievement Medal (1 Silver & 3 Bronze OLCs); Army Good Conduct Medal (6th Award); National Defense Service Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal (2 Bronze Service Stars); Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal (2 Stars); Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; NCO Professional Development Ribbon (Numeral 4); Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon (Numeral 2); Armed Forces Service Medal; Humanitarian Service Medal; Expert Field Medical Badge (EFMB); Air Assault Badge; Basic Army Instructor Badge (BAIB); Senior Army Instructor Badge (SAIB); Driver and Mechanic Badge; Military Qualification Badge-Expert (Carbine and Pistol); German Marksmanship (Schuetzenschnur) Medallion (Gold); and the European Master Shooter Badge-Gold (Pistol). He is a member of the prestigious Sergeant Audie Murphy Club (SAMC), the Order of Military Medical Merit (O2M3) and is also the recipient of the Colonel Clifford Walker Leadership Award.