Rio Americano High School

The Mirada

Rio Americano High School

The Mirada

Rio Americano High School

The Mirada

History Teacher Deploying to Middle East with Army Reserves

Husband and father of 4, Maj. Brian Brickey will serve as an information officer for almost a year.

After his last class on Friday, Rio Americano High School social science teacher Brian Brickey will trade his usual polo shirts with the Raider logo for military fatigues with golden oak leaves, as he departs for an almost year-long deployment as a major in the Army Reserves.

Brickey will be deployed in Bell for the rest of January and then to Fort Bliss, Tex., for three weeks of training. After that, he will be gone for nine months as a public affairs officer in the Middle East. His unit will work with nations in that region to resettle refugees from over a decade of conflict.

Despite leaving his job and his wife and four children for his deployment to Jordan and Lebanon, he sounded a positive note for Rio students.

“You either choose to succeed or you choose to fail,” Brickey said. “Best of luck in the coming year. I’ll see you all in 2025.”

Brickey has been teaching at Rio for two years, starting not long after he left active duty. He teaches World History, U.S. History and Geography. A nationally ranked powerlifter, he also teaches advanced weights and is the strength coach and line coach for the school’s football team.

Brickey has gone a long way in teaching, and one main goal that he follows is inspiring students to “learn to learn and love to learn.”

“You’re gonna forget 95% of what we teach you in here,” Brickey said. “The whole point of teaching is to develop your thought processes.”

Brickey was an excellent student himself, graduating as salutatorian from his high school in Santa Maria. He played football at Occidental College before getting his bachelors in world affairs from the University of La Verne and his master’s from USC.

History teacher and U.S. Army Reserves Maj. Brian Brickey will leave his teaching position at Rio Americano High School for a year to deploy to the Middle East.

After college he joined the Army officer corps.

“Growing up, I did not come from a military family at all, but very quickly I found the idea of serving in some capacity to be a necessary call for your country,” Brickey said. “Regardless of the situation that the United States may be in politically… the freedoms that you have, you have to give back and defend those same freedoms.”

During his eight years in the active U.S. Army, Brickey did everything from platoon leader of a 12-man anti-tank guided missile platoon to an executive officer.

While serving as second in command for a 140-man reconnaissance troop out of Fort Lewis, Wash. he was selected as the I Corps liaison to the U.S. Embassy in Malaysia during Pacific Pathways 2016.

At the end of his active-duty career from 2018-2020, he was a maneuvers operations analyst at Fort Bliss, Tex., an assignment in which he advised military leaders on future weapons, techniques and tactics.

Brickey said that he left the Army to end deployments away from his growing family and because the Army was going to assign him to a desk job.

“They told me I couldn’t kick down doors anymore, that I had to start pushing papers,” Brickey said, “so I chose the reserves so that I could still affect the Army in some way, shape or form, and continue that service to the country.”

Brickey and his wife of 12 years, Allison, have four kids, three boys and one girl. His wife is a nurse in plastic surgery.

One strain of his deployment is that he is not sure how he’ll be able to keep in touch with his family.

“As of right now, there’s no guarantees on the communication and when I’m gonna be able to communicate,” Brickey said. “Number one, there’s going to be a difficulty because I will be 11 hours ahead. And then number two is there are oftentimes where I’m working with the special operations community, so I will be running missions with them to run their public affairs. And there’s no guarantee that in the situations we’re in, whether we’re in Jordan, Iraq, Syria or Lebanon, that we’re gonna have the ability to communicate back until after the mission’s complete.”

Although conflict in the region has increased since the start of the Israel-Hamas War in October, Brickey is not worried about his safety.

“There’s no concern,” Brickey said. “I understand that there’s hostility in the area, but it’s what we signed up to do, and I trust all the service members that I’m with.”

A popular teacher noted for his rigor, Brickey plans to return to Rio in February 2025, following a one-month “reintegration period” after his deployment.

“He’s a great teacher,” junior Regina Del Real said. “He treats his (U.S. History) class as an AP class and it’s fun and he teaches well.”

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Stella Plain, Staff Writer
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Liam Nevin, Head Photographer

Comments (20)

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  • KatFeb 5, 2024 at 10:15 PM

    Using the quotes he said to his classes adds a really personal feel to the article. Great work!

    Reply
  • SadieFeb 5, 2024 at 10:14 PM

    This article was written very well with a smooth flow that kept me engaged throughout the story.

    Reply
  • KadeFeb 5, 2024 at 8:46 PM

    Very well written, the choice of quotes was good and they add a lot to the article.

    Reply
  • kateFeb 5, 2024 at 2:47 PM

    This is very good writing and it had my interest throughout the article.

    Reply
  • MonicaFeb 4, 2024 at 10:41 PM

    Mr. Brickey was a great teacher. I enjoyed the quotes from him.

    Reply
  • SamFeb 4, 2024 at 10:05 PM

    It is really interesting figuring out that Mr. Brickey is apart of the army. I wish him the best.

    Reply
  • chase dinaburgFeb 4, 2024 at 9:29 PM

    This man means more to some students then he knows, he introduced to me to the game of football with open arms and has mentored me and taught me so much. I really hope he’s safe and for everyone’s sake, that he returns home soon. Miss him already

    Reply
  • FatimaFeb 4, 2024 at 3:00 PM

    It was interesting to learn more about our teachers at Rio. This article was well written and gives students a nice back story about Mr. Brickey. Wishing Mr. Brickey a safe trip.

    Reply
  • SathyaFeb 3, 2024 at 6:20 PM

    This was a very well-written article that kept a nice flow to it and kept my attention. I wish all the best to Mr.Brickey.

    Reply
  • MarinaFeb 3, 2024 at 4:12 PM

    This article highlights Mr. Brickey’s overall perspective concerning the Army Reserve as well as his background. This well-written piece takes a deep dive into Mr. Brickey’s life and truly allows readers to see as well as understand him as a person.

    Reply
  • MKFeb 3, 2024 at 3:56 PM

    This article highlights Mr. Brickey and his hard work and determination as a teacher at Rio Americano. The writer highlights his deployment in Jordan and his positive attitude towards serving in the U.S. Army. The article clearly explains Mr. Brickey’s love and motivation towards success and completing anything you put your mind to. It gives a great background and showcases his perspective during his lifetime.

    Reply
  • HoldenFeb 2, 2024 at 10:56 AM

    This article is written very well & informed me on what was happening.

    Reply
  • GrantFeb 1, 2024 at 11:02 PM

    Sad to see Mr. Brickey go but it is great that he can serve his country in two ways, teaching and fighting for us!

    Reply
  • GrantFeb 1, 2024 at 10:56 PM

    Great backstory! Sad to see Mr.Bricky go but its awesome that he is able to serve his country in two ways, teaching and fighting for us.

    Reply
  • HaydenJan 23, 2024 at 10:22 AM

    I think this was written well as it had my interest throughout the whole read.

    Reply
  • KennyJan 23, 2024 at 10:20 AM

    It is a very nice story/back story about Mr. Brickey and it gives me a different perspective about him since I had him for a class and knowing how others feel about him really lightens my mind.

    Reply
  • violetJan 23, 2024 at 10:15 AM

    well written article. Have a good year Mr. Brickey.

    Reply
  • MeganJan 23, 2024 at 9:57 AM

    Good job on writing this article. It flows really well and the descriptive language makes it really interesting to read.

    Reply
  • DelaneyJan 23, 2024 at 9:42 AM

    This article gave me a better understanding of what he’s doing in his time away, very well written. Wishing Mr. Brickey the best of luck on his mission.

    Reply
  • ZaynJan 23, 2024 at 9:41 AM

    This article was very well written.

    Reply