VICENZA, Italy -- Maj. P. Jason Auchincloss, the U.S. Army Africa senior physician assistant, was one of six officers selected from the Army Medical Specialist Corps to attend the Army Medicine's Iron Majors Week Post-Professional Short Course Program, scheduled to take place April 30 to May 4 at the Defense Health Headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia.

The Iron Major award identifies Army Medical Department Soldiers in the rank of major or captain promotable that demonstrate outstanding leadership and medical skills, the ability to mentor subordinates, and the potential to shape future change and initiatives associated with Army medicine.

"Jason is the kind of Soldier and physician assistant that everyone wishes they had," said Col. John J. Osborn, the U.S. Army Africa command surgeon. "He stands out, does more than what is expected and is always ready to help and lend aid, whether that be professional or personal. He is genuinely a good person that has a heart of gold."

The five-day leader development opportunity exposes the selectees to a variety of interagency activities and discussions with subject matter experts and senior leaders. The course will also help build the experience and knowledge needed to address future complex issues within Army medicine and the Department of Defense.

"It's an honor to be chosen to go and hear from our senior leadership regarding the path that the Department of Defense is taking, and the future of our health care . It is also a great opportunity to be able to have our voice heard," Auchincloss said. "It's an opportunity to be able to provide input to our senior leadership on where we think we can provide feedback and help guide Army medicine to better serve our Soldiers."

Auchincloss serves as the senior medical advisor to the battalion commander, command surgeon and regionally aligned force medical staff. He manages the medical clearance process for the Army service command's official travel to Africa. Among his contributions to army medicine is the development and enhancement of a tracking tool that assists in identifying causal relationships between Soldiers' environments or actions and the development of disease or sustainment of injuries. Implementing this process allowed USARAF to reduce disease and non-battle injurie rates by more than 40 percent.

Auchincloss said his drive to continually progress comes from his passion in helping people and taking care of Soldiers. His experience as an enlisted service member, and cannon crewmember, enhanced his transition into the medical field, by providing a greater appreciation of how hard the Soldiers on the front lines work.

Auchincloss attributes his success to his peers, mentors and his remarkable team.

"Having an opportunity to be able to lead, train and mentor Soldiers and also be able to take care of them from a health standpoint was my drive to be a PA," Auchincloss said. "Ultimately they are the front of the line and we are here to support them. Anything we can do to make their jobs easier is a win for us."