Arizona Army National Guard IDs 23-year-old officer who died after collapsing during PT test

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Officials have released the name of an Arizona Army National Guard soldier who died during a fitness test Wednesday.

Army 2nd Lt. Robert Dwayne Bryant Jr. collapsed Tuesday morning during the running portion of a physical fitness test in preparation for the Basic Officer Leadership Course, a press release stated. An Army medic and support staff attended to Bryant until paramedics brought him to Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital, where he died the following morning.

He was 23 years old.

Bryant, a member of the 850th Military Police Battalion, commissioned out of the Arizona State University ROTC program in 2019 but had been enlisted in the National Guard for six years prior to his commission.

“Lieutenant Bryant was a well-respected officer,” said Lt. Col. Noel Chun, commander of the 850th MP Battalion. “He always wanted to be a police officer and an MP, and it showed in his actions. He was a very motivated Soldier, and we will miss him.”

In his civilian life, Bryant was a member of the Phoenix Police Department, where he had served since 2017.

Sherry Burlingame, an assistant chief at the Tempe Police Department, said Bryant’s life was “full of service and impact” in a tweet Thursday.

A life to short, yet full of service and impact! RIP DJ, Ofcr Bryant, 2LT Bryant! @PhoenixPolice pic.twitter.com/WHS8Y5BjYY

— Asst. Chief Sherry Burlingame (@BurlingameTPD) July 30, 2020

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Arizona Governor Doug Ducey ordered flags to half-staff on Friday in honor of Bryant.

“He carried out his duties with excellence and honor — a model of what it truly means to serve one’s country and communities. His tragic loss is felt by many throughout our state. My deepest condolences go out to Bryant’s family, loved ones, and all those who served alongside him,” the governor said in a statement.

During his time in the Arizona National Guard, Bryant was awarded the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon.

The cause of death is still under investigation.

About

Harm Venhuizen is an editorial intern at Military Times. He is studying political science and philosophy at Calvin University, where he’s also in the Army ROTC program.

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