The Arizona National Guard said one of its members died Wednesday after collapsing during an early morning physical fitness test at Tempe Town Lake the day before.
The Citizen-Soldier was U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Robert Dwayne Bryant Jr., 23, from the East Valley, the state National Guard stated in a release. They said Mr. Bryant was taking the test in preparation for a Basic Officer Leader Course when he fell down during the run portion of the test.
A medic and support staff were on-hand to respond when Mr. Bryant went down. Paramedics arrived shortly after and took him to Tempe St. Luke's Hospital, the release states. He died 24 hours later. The cause of death remains under investigation.
"Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Lieutenant Bryant," stated U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Joseph R. Baldwin, 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."
Mr. Bryant was a traditional Guard member and assigned to the 850th Military Police Battalion of the Arizona National Guard located at Papago Park Military Reservation, according to the release. As a civilian, Mr. Bryant was a member of the Phoenix Police Department since 2017.
"Lieutenant Bryant was a well-respected officer," stated U.S. Army 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."
Mr. Bryant commissioned through Arizona State University's Reserve Officer Training Course in 2019, according to the release. He was the recipient of the Minuteman scholarship through the National Guard. Prior to commissioning, he enlisted six years prior at the age of 17, serving as an MP and becoming a Phoenix police officer in 2017.
Mr. Bryant is the recipient of the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon.
Gov. Doug Ducey ordered all flags at state buildings to be lowered at half-staff.