At the end of the Miss USA beauty pageant on Jun. 5, 2016, Miss District of Columbia, U.S. Army Reserve 1st Lt. Deshauna Barber, was crowned the winner.
Barber is a logistics officer and commands the 988th Quartermaster Detachment in Fort Meade, Maryland.
She is also the daughter of a retired U.S. Army master sergeant. Her Miss USA bio says that she hopes to use her reign as Miss USA to highlight veteran issues, especially those faced by troops returning from combat.
The pageant aired a commercial highlighting Barber’s dual nature. It shows embodying the feminine ideals of the beauty pageant after showing stripping off her military uniform.
“We can be feminine, we can be in beauty contests, we can be models,” Barber said before the competition. “So there’s stereotypes on both sides that I feel like I’m breaking by even being here and being able to compete for Miss USA.”
Barber went on to juggle her responsibilities as Miss USA, which entailed appearing at public events and preparing for the Miss Universe pageant, while working at her day job as a Department of Commerce IT analyst and serving as a U.S. Army officer.