|What was I supposed to do, lie in the report? Covering up the truth wouldn't do humanity any good.|
|— Rico justifies reporting Eren|
Rico Brzenska (リコ・ブレツェンスカ Riko Buretsensuka?) is the team leader (班長 Hanchō?) of Squad Rico and a member of the Garrison's 1st Division Elite Forces. She is the only surviving leader of the Alpha Squad assigned to protect Eren Yeager during the liberation of Trost District.
Rico is a rather short woman with a small but secure build. She has cheek length dark blonde hair and brown eyes. She wears a small framed pair of glasses held on by bands placed around her head to keep them from falling off during combat. She also wears the typical Garrison uniform with a white button up shirt underneath and during a later mission, she is seen wearing a green Garrison cloak.
Rico has a very mixed personality. At first glance, it may appear as though she does not feel sympathy as she was very open to the idea of killing Eren Yeager, Mikasa Ackerman, and Armin Arlert after it was discovered that Eren has the power of the Titans.
Rico began to lose her calm demeanor as the Titans gradually wiped out her comrades. However, for the most part, she maintains a composed, leadership role, and bravely cuts a Titan's eye out when it interferes with Eren's carrying the boulder. Once Trost is reclaimed, Rico sits among the wasteland of corpses and begins to shed tears for her fallen comrades, and for the first victory for humanity over the Titans.
After a rampaging Titan is revealed to be a trainee, Rico is among the Garrison soldiers who surround him and his allies as Kitz Weilman questions the trainee about the nature of his Titan transformation. Rico stands with Kitz's decision to execute Eren and his comrades, believing that questioning them will be a waste of time. The first attempt to execute the trainees is unsuccessful as Eren uses his Titan form to stop the cannon fire that is intended to kill him, and a second attempt is stopped by the intervention of Dot Pixis.
A plan for Eren to use his Titan powers to seal the breach with a boulder is formed, and Pixis places Rico, Ian Dietrich, and Mitabi Jarnach in charge of the elite squad assigned to protect Eren on his mission. Rico and Mitabi voice their objections to Pixis's trust in Eren but Pixis explains that he is tired of watching humanity to lose to the Titans and that Eren is their only hope of winning. He places Ian in overall command of their joint unit, which Rico approves.
Using the top of Wall Rose to get close to the rock that will be used to plug the wall, Rico reminds Eren that many of her comrades-in-arms will die for his sake. As they prepare to disembark the wall and head straight for the rock, Rico fires off a green smoke flare to let the Garrison's commanders know that they have begun their operation.
The operation goes sour immediately, with Eren losing control of his Titan form and attacking Mikasa Ackerman before eventually collapsing. As Titans begin approaching, Rico and Mitabi decide to pull their troops out of the mission, and advise Ian to do the same. Ian ignores them and orders that they take their teams and protect Eren until he can recover. Rico tries to argue that enough soldiers have already died for Eren's sake, and Ian loses his temper, demanding that Rico tell him any other way to take back Trost without Eren. Rico is unable to give an answer, and she and Mitabi are forced to go along with Ian's plan.
As the soldiers fight, they are gradually overwhelmed as more Titans continue to pour into Trost. Rico orders her remaining soldiers to fall back to the rock Eren is supposed to carry, but as they turn to flee, they are greeted by the sight of Eren, fully conscious, carrying the rock. Rico and the remaining soldiers begin cutting a path to the breach, keeping all approaching Titans away from Eren. When the rock is finally in place, she tearfully fires off a green signal flare indicating the success of the mission, declaring that humanity has finally won its first battle against the Titans.
As Titans begin approaching them, Rico orders everyone to scale the Wall to safety. Eren has fallen unconscious, and his body has partially fused itself to his Titan, necessitating that Rico use her swords to cut him out. However, they are not fast enough to escape the approaching Titans, and are only saved by the arrival of the Survey Corps.
Rico attends the military trial to determine what will be done with Eren. During the trial, Commander-in-Chief Darius Zackly brings up Rico's report of Eren's rampage as evidence of how unreliable Eren could potentially be as an ally to humanity. Though Mikasa Ackerman is upset, Rico insists that lying about Eren's rampage would not help humanity and advises that Mikasa be truthful in her account of the mission as well.
During the Wall Rose invasion, Rico is present with the Garrison's eastern defense line preventing the Titans from advancing. One of her comrades boasts that their defense is impenetrable and Rico retorts that any larger horde of Titans would easily break their progress. She senses that something is not right about the nature of the invasion, though she does not know for certain what it is.
After the Survey Corps return from rescuing Eren Yeager from Reiner Braun and Bertolt Hoover, Rico can be seen giving water to a dehydrated Historia Reiss and reassuring her that there are no Titans. She is also concerned for Connie Springer.
As Armin Arlert explains his plan for victory against the Colossus Titan to Eren Yeager, Rico stands with other Garrison members atop Wall Rose, worrying if the operation to retake Wall Maria and humanity's land will be successful.
At sometime before the year 857, Rico would be one of the many soldiers that pledged themselves to Eren's cause and joined the Yeagerists. She is seen in a crowd of other Yeagerists celebrating Paradis's newly formed army.
She is considered one of the most skilled members of the Garrison, earning her a place on the Elite Squad during the mission in Trost.
Rico Brzenska's statistics :
- Rico ranked seventeenth in the Second Character Popularity Poll.
- Rico ranked forty-third in the Third Character Popularity Poll.
- Her last name is traditionally a Polish surname.
- Ian Dietrich, Rico Brzenska, and Mitabi Jarnach were in the same Training Corps class.