2016 Miss USA Preliminary Competition

Source: Ethan Miller / Getty

26-year-old Army Reserve Officer, Deshauna Barber, was crowned Miss USA 2016 last night.  Barber represented the District of Columbia, but she will now go on to represent the United States in the Miss Universe pageant later this year.

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Barber is the first ever active military member to win the Miss USA title.  She says she had already spoken to her superiors about taking a break from the Army Reserves if she won.

Barber says she wants to use her new platform to fight for veteran’s causes.  She also wants to bring awareness to mental health of military members after serving.

During the Q&A portion of last night’s pageant, Barber was asked about women in combat.  She answered, “As a woman in the United States Army, I think … we are just as tough as men.  As a commander of my unit, I’m powerful, I am dedicated.  Gender does not limit us in the United States.”

Congratulations Deshauna Barber, enjoy your Miss USA reign!  Read more on the story here.

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