By Staff Sgt. David OversonMay 18, 2018
HOHENFELS, Germany (May 18, 2018) -- Spc. Anthony Bryant is relatively new to the Army, however, he's not wasting any time checking off traditional infantry tabs on his to-do list.
Bryant, 20, enlisted in the Army roughly two months after graduating high school in 2016 for no other reason than, 'it seemed like the right decision at the time,' he said. By the time he made it through basic training, he already knew that decision would change his life forever.
"I love everything about the Army," Bryant said. "It reminds me of playing football back in high school at times. We're a team, all striving for the same goal -- to win!"
Bryant, originally from Cabool, Mo., arrived at Hohenfels Training Area in March of 2017 to serve with the heralded 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, which is the Joint Multinational Readiness Center's world-class OPFOR unit, and within approximately six months his leadership knew he was ready for the next step -- Ranger School.
1st Sgt. Aaron Brown, Bryant's company senior enlisted advisor, recognized something special in the Soldier right away and knew he was destined to be a leader; they needed to send him to Ranger School as soon as possible.
"Spc. Bryant is a very humble and disciplined soldier," said Brown. "All of his peers look up to him, and he is a natural leader that always strives to improve himself, Soldiers, peers, and the organization.
"He sets goals for himself and achieves them. Prior to Ranger school as a private, he was awarded his Expert Infantryman Badge with 'True Blue' status (top one percent)."
Bryant attended Airborne School following Ranger School, and proceeded to bring all of that newfound knowledge and leadership back to 1-4 IN, where he was immediately appointed the honorable duty of team leader, and promoted from private first class to specialist.
"My leadership is amazing," added Bryant. "They really help me and have allowed me the opportunity to go places and do things that I really didn't think I'd ever do in life."
The Infantryman's life can be challenging at times, but Bryant points out the way to prevent complacency is with a lot of hard training.
Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf Jr., leader of coalition forces during the 1991 Gulf War, might have said it best, "The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war."
Aside from enjoying his time with 1-4 IN, Bryant's next goal is to earn an Air Assault Badge during his time at HTA. Following that, he'd like to attend both Sapper and Pathfinder schools, and ultimately seek selection with Special Forces.
Though there is no requirement to be a combat engineer, the Sapper Leader Course is a demanding leadership development course for combat engineers that reinforces critical skills and teaches advanced techniques needed across the Army.
Army Pathfinders are specialists in navigating their way through foreign terrain and establishing safe landing zones (LZ) for Airborne and Air Assault Soldiers, or Army aircraft. At times, a Pathfinder is asked to parachute into a remote area and navigate his way to an unobstructed location that could serve as an LZ, then relay those coordinates back to a command center.
With a Ranger Tab, and hopefully Sapper and Pathfinder Tabs, it only makes sense for this young hard charging Soldier to shoot for that next goal on his list.
"I'm extremely proud to wear this Ranger Tab," said Bryant. "But if it's meant to be, I'd really like to become a Green Beret as well."
The Green Berets practice unconventional warfare in many forms, and are organized into elite units, each consisting of 12 members, which conduct stealth raids and ambushes. Every Green Beret must learn to speak a foreign language, according to the group's web site.
"If I could look into a crystal ball," added Brown. "I would easily see that Spc. Bryant has the potential, drive, and attitude to be a Command Sergeant Major one day."