When the men were Cadets, they swore a blood oath that they would make it into NASA. Mitchell's wild personality forced Ferguson to save him from a situation which may have resulted in Cam's death. As a result, shrapnel was lodged against an inter-cranial artery in Bryce's head. Over the course of four years this shrapnel would eventually form an aneurysm. Both Ferguson and Mitchell were up for classified F-302 fighter-interceptor pilots position when the craft were ready to be used, but Mitchell was the only one who made the cut. Consequently, Bryce missed out battles with interstellar armadas and all knowledge relating to the Stargate.
When the aneurysm reached a critical stage in 2006, Major General Henry Landry granted Mitchell permission to declassify Stargate related material to Ferguson after the aneurysm proved impossible to fix even with access to alien technology. Mitchell used the Galaran memory device to allow him to witness what he had been exposed to, just hours before he died. Though Mitchell wanted to stay with him until he died, Teal'c needed rescuing and upon hearing of it, Bryce encouraged him to go. Though Bryce possessed a prickly personality, Mitchell believed Ferguson was a better pilot than even himself. (SG1: "Stronghold")