LANDSTUHL, Germany- Animal care specialist at Public Health Command Europe is able to broaden her horizon with new job opportunity.
Spc. Breanna Bryant, a Florida native, hails from a military family.
“One of my grandfathers, two uncles and my dad served in various branches,” said Bryant.
Bryant attended a public school in Bartow with a military structure and participated in the JROTC program. In her last year of high school, she decided to enlist in the U.S. Army.
Like all enlisted members, Bryant had taken the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test, known as ASVAB. The results determine the recruit’s military occupational specialty.
Bryant initially wanted to be an X-ray technician, but the Army didn’t have any openings in that field when she signed her contract.
“I always wanted to be a veterinarian when I was little, so it was an easy decision to make. I classified as an animal care specialist,” said Bryant.
At her first duty station, Bryant worked at a veterinary treatment facility and took care of military dogs and the pets of active-duty members and veterans.
“Our top priority is the military working dogs, and they are absolutely incredible,” said Bryant. “I love working with them every chance I get.”
Bryant said most of the dogs she has examined have been assigned to patrols or explosives detection, with some trained as drug sniffers. She said she generally assists with routine animal care.
Since January 2022, Bryant has been assigned to Public Health Command Europe.
“I no longer work inside a veterinary treatment facility, instead I am the noncommissioned officer in charge of the veterinary pathology laboratory,” said Bryant. “It’s a different change of pace than working at the VTF but I’m diversifying my knowledge and abilities.”
At the veterinary pathology laboratory, she prepares the tissue samples of military working dogs or pets of service members for disease diagnosis.
“At the VTF I would be helping the veterinarians to remove the masses, now I prepare the tissues so the pathologist can read them, said Bryant. “It’s pretty cool to see both sides of veterinary medicine, outside of the military that would be two different jobs.”
Bryant truly enjoys her job in the military.
“I am honored to be an animal care specialist in the Army,” she said. “Getting to work so closely with the working dogs back at Charleston, it really opened my eyes as to how much these dogs really do for us and how much they're capable of doing. They are athletes through and through, and they're just incredible.”
Her love for dogs goes far beyond military working dogs and duty hours.
Bryant has lots of experience volunteering at animal shelters and was asked to help with a dog that was hit by a car.
“Because of the training I received in the Army, I felt comfortable to provide basic rehabilitation and post-surgery care,” said Bryant. “He ended up needing three surgeries and I knew that there was no chance that I could give him up for adoption after all we went through together. I wanted to keep him.”
Bryant's German shepherds, Waylon and Ziggy, are currently living with Bryant’s parents and grandmother in Florida while Bryant and her husband serve in the U.S. Army and Air Force in Germany.