The U.S. Army Europe Physician Assistant of the Year is awarded to the most qualified PA within U.S. Army Europe for every fiscal year.

This title has been awarded to the best U.S. Army Europe PA since 1982 and has helped PAs distinguish themselves among their peers. PAs are the unit "doctors" who keep troops healthy and medically ready. There are over 70 PAs serving in Europe today from the U.S. Army Europe headquarters, brigades and battalions.

The U.S. Army Europe PA of the Year selection process is extremely competitive. Commanders recommend their best PA to U.S. Army Europe Office of the Command Surgeon for consideration, highlighting their accomplishments achieved during the year. Candidates' packets are reviewed and scored by five field grade panel members and sergeants major from within the command, reflecting the nominees' leadership attributes, level of responsibility, influence within and outside of the command, physical fitness and clinical achievements.

Maj. Malitza Rivera Cortes is the winner of the 2018 U.S. Army Europe PA of the Year for her clinical leadership in Landstuhl Army Regional Medical Center's Orthopedic Clinic her and contributions to U.S. Army Europe, the Army Medical Department and U.S. Army. Her efforts have paved the way for the start of a Phase II Inter-service Physician Assistant Program, which will support the military treatment facilities' mission of caring for service members and their families while providing a force of PAs ready to transition into U.S. Army Europe assignments upon completion of training.

"For those Soldiers out there that continue to work hard. One day you will be recognized. Believe me, even if you think no one is watching, people are actually looking. So continue to do your best job and be Army Strong," said Rivera Cortes.

The winner of this award receives a signed and framed Certificate of Achievement and congratulatory letter from the U.S. Army Europe Command Surgeon and Regional Health Commander - Europe during National PA week Oct. 6-12. This event is recorded by the Army Medical Department historian.