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Military Officer Takes Miss USA Crown After Impassioned Pro-Female Soldier Speech

Playing Military Officer Takes Miss USA Crown After Impassioned Pro-Female Soldier Speech

Deshauna Barber of Washington, DC, took the Miss USA crown this weekend after giving a moving answer about women in the military.

The Army reserve officer and IT analyst clinched the win after she proudly affirmed the Pentagon's recent decision to open combat jobs to women.


*Yells* Deshauna Barber...... DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA!!👑 #MissDCUSA #MissUSA #RoadToMissUSA

A photo posted by Deshauna Barber (@missdcusa) on Jun 4, 2016 at 3:30pm PDT

"As a woman in the United States Army, I think it was an amazing job by our government to allow women to integrate to every branch of the military. We are just as tough as men," the 26-year-old said to applause when asked about the controversial issue.

Read: 90-Year-Old Veteran Receives Honorary Diploma After Dropping Out To Fight in World War II

"As a commander of my unit, I am powerful. I am dedicated. And it is important that we recognize that gender does not limit us in the United States Army."


More Than Pretty Soldier + Nurse = 👑 #MissDCUSA #MissCTUSA #MissUSA #RoadToMissUSA

A photo posted by Deshauna Barber (@missdcusa) on May 28, 2016 at 1:15pm PDT

Barber is the daughter of a retired Army master sergeant who served overseas following the 9/11 attacks. Barber's mother and siblings also served in the armed forces.

"I consider it to be a family tradition,” she said in a pre-show interview. "It’s something that runs through our veins — patriotism and service for this country."

Barber is the first-ever military member to win the pageant. She told reporters following the event that she's exploring the possibility of going inactive while serving as Miss USA.

Read: Hillary Invokes Muhammad Ali As Trump Says Muslims May Also Be Unfit to Judge His Cases

Barber's clear convictions appeared to sway the judges at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. She took the crown over runners-up Miss Georgia Emanii Davis and Miss Hawaii Chelsea Hardin.


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A photo posted by Deshauna Barber (@missdcusa) on Apr 8, 2016 at 3:10pm PDT

Miss Hawaii, too, managed impress with her answer to a sticky question. Pressed on whether she'd vote for Clinton or Trump, Hardin said: "What we need in the United States is someone who represents those of us who feel we don’t have a voice."

Republican nominee Donald Trump owned the Miss USA pageant until his controversial remarks about immigrants led NBCUniversal — which co-owned the event — to cut ties with the billionaire.

Trump eventually sold off his stake in the pageant.

Watch: Ex-Miss Pennsylvania Stands By Claim Trump's Pageant Was Rigged: 'He Doesn't Scare Me' 

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