|Everyone...your deaths weren't in vain.... Today, for the first time in history...humanity has beaten the Titans!|
|— Rico relieved to see the operation's success|
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 Regiment's 1st Division Elite Forces. She is the only surviving leader of the Elite Squad assigned to protect Eren Jaeger during the liberation of Trost District.
Rico is a rather short woman with a small but secure build. She has shaggy, cheek length, platinum blonde hair, and silver-colored 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, Mikasa, and Armin after it was discovered that Eren is a Titan. However, after the plans to retake Trost District are put into motion, Rico lectures Eren on the value of human life and the families, feelings, and lives each individual possesses. She appears to think deeply of each life, saying that they are not simply just pawns. In saying these words, Rico appears to posses a very strong resolve. She is at any time prepared to die for humanity, though she appears to have a feisty side that will not simply take such a death lying down. In the end, her personality is that of a brutally honest but ultimately well-meaning person, which is shown plainly when she told Eren that the blood of those who would die protecting him while he sealed Wall Rose were on his hands, but did so in order to motivate him to ensure that their deaths meant something.
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 roll, 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 cadet, Rico is among the Garrison soldiers who surround him and his allies as Kitz Woermann questions the cadet about the nature of his Titan transformation. Rico stands with Kitz's decision to execute Eren and his comrades, believing questioning them will be a waste of time. The first attempt to execute the cadets 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 Pyxis.
A plan for Eren to use his Titan powers to seal the breach with a boulder is formed, and Pyxis 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 Pyxis's trust in Eren, but are silenced by Pyxis's nonchalant explanation 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 as close to the rock that will be used to plug the wall without entering the district, Rico reminds Eren of the weight of the responsibility he has, pointing out 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 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 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 Scout Regiment.
Following the battle, Rico delivers a detailed report of Eren's performance in his Titan form, including his loss of control during the mission.
Rico attends the military trial to determine what will be done with Eren. During the trial, Premier Dhalis Zachary 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 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.
As she kills a Titan, a fellow soldier congratulates her and states that their defense is impenetrable. Rico says otherwise, noting 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.
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.
- Her last name is of German origin.
- Ian Dietrich, Rico Brzenska, and Mitabi Jarnach trained in the same Cadet Corps class.