Flags at all Arizona state buildings were lowered from sunrise to sunset Friday in honor of an Arizona National Guard member who died Wednesday after collapsing during a Tuesday fitness test in Tempe.
The twenty-three-year-old U.S. Army 3nd Lt. Robert Dwayne Bryant Jr., a member of the Phoenix Police Department, was taking a test for the Basic Officer Leader Course when he collapsed during its run portion.
A medic staff quickly responded when Bryant collapsed, Tempe paramedics were called and took him to a city hospital where he died 24 hours later. The cause of his deaths remains under investigation.
"Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Lieutenant Bryant," said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Joseph R. Balwin, Land Component Commander of the Arizona Army National Guard. "It is always painful to lose one of our own because we are not just soldiers, but members of the community, so when we hurt the whole community hurts."
Bryant enlisted in the Arizona National Guard at 17 years old and was assigned to the 850th Military Police Battalion at Papago Park Military Reservation. He was also commissioned through Arizona State University's Reserve Officer Training Course in 2019.
“Lieutenant Bryant was a well-respected officer,” said Lt. Col. Noel Chun, 850th MP Battalion Commander. “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.”
During his time with the National Guard Bryant was a recipient of the Minuteman scholarship and received the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon.