From an early age, Bryan Tauzer was interested in all things military — playing with toy soldiers, papering his bedroom walls with military posters and reading books like “Patton.” When it came time to decide about college, he chose the U.S. Military Academy (West Point), because after 9/11 the Army was where “the action is,” Tauzer said.
Tauzer also knew that West Point is one of the most respected universities in the nation, so it was also a good career move. His dream was realized when he was nominated by Rep. Mike Thompson and subsequently was offered an appointment there.
Within a week of graduating from Davis High School, where he lettered in football and track, he found himself at Cadet Basic Training (Beast) at West Point, N.Y., 50 miles up the scenic Hudson River from New York City.
Four years later after rigorous training and classes, Tauzer graduated with honors with a bachelor’s degree in engineering management (environmental sequence), and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
He chose aviation as his specialty, because it was interesting and seemed less stressful (pilots must have their sleep!), even though it added three years to his five-year active-duty obligation.
In the Army, aviation means helicopters, so Tauzer headed to Fort Rucker, Ala., for training. He became a certified Black Hawk pilot and was assigned to Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, as part of the 1st Armored Division, Combat Aviation Brigade. His particular unit was responsible for maintaining their aircraft.
They deployed to western Afghanistan earlier this year and have just returned, having suffered no casualties.
Tauzer got married just before his deployment and said he is not thinking about a career in the Army after his commitment ends in 2018, due to the stress it places on families.