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News | April 24, 2020

Army neuroscientist tests skills, training on COVID frontlines in NYC

By Shauna Clark U.S. Army Marketing and Engagement Brigade

An Army neuroscientist and Mission Support Battalion Soldier is working at the front lines of the COVID-19 response efforts in New York City.

Capt. Allison Brager, member of the U.S. Army Warrior Fitness Team, has temporarily been assigned to serve with a team of medical professionals at the Army’s field hospital at the Javits Center.

As one of a small number of neuroscientists in the Army, Brager’s critical skill set was desperately needed at the epicenter in NYC. Understanding this need, she was packing her bags ready and willing to join the effort.

“Within 24 hours of notification of approval, I was on my way to NYC to set up laboratories at the largest field hospital the United States has seen since World War II,” Brager said.

This mission is very different than what she’s been doing for the past year. As a member of the Warrior Fitness team, a group of 15 elite Soldier athletes, Brager focuses on encouraging young people to propel themselves into a healthy, athletic lifestyle and consider Army service.

Prior to earning a place on the fitness team, Brager served at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research where she focused her efforts on molecular cell replication and other functions that fall in her career field as a neuroscientist.

Brager has been working 12 hours a day, seven days a week at the Javits Center to support the mission of testing and analyzing the virus. She is using her fitness background to supply her team of 603 medical personnel with daily workouts that can be performed with limited fitness equipment.

“I’m also conducting research studies on the correlation between proper sleep routines and a strong immune system in collaboration with the former “team of teams” I built at WRAIR” she said.

Being able to be a part of something much larger than a local community medical practice or a typical military attachment is something that Brager felt prepared for through the intensive training the U.S. Army has provided her. Multitasking, project management and military organizational tasks are some of the skills that Brager learned at the Army Medical Department Captains Career Course.

“While I was at the career course, I often thought that I would never have the opportunity to use some of the training we were receiving,” Brager said. “But now, I’m utilizing skills taught in that course on a daily basis.”

While there’s currently no end date for her mission in NYC, Brager is confident that the work she and her military colleagues are doing is making a positive impact on the fight against the coronavirus.

When asked if she had any advice for the general public to remain safe from the pandemic she replied with, “Follow the guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and do your best to eat healthy, live a healthy lifestyle, and to keep a proper sleep schedule during these difficult times.”

To learn more about Brager and her unique mission in New York City, people can follow the U.S. Army

Mission Support Battalion via social media at:




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