Air Force Pilot Makes History as First Active Duty Miss America Winner

Air Force Pilot Makes History as First Active Duty Miss America Winner

( – A historic moment occurred on January 14th as Miss Colorado, Madison Marsh, became the first active-duty military service member from the Air Force to be crowned Miss America. The 22-year-old second lieutenant in the Air Force, fresh off graduating from the Air Force Academy and now pursuing a master’s in public policy at Harvard, embodies a spirit of service and achievement that resonated with judges and audiences.

The winner indicated that she’s happy to have the opportunity to represent women and challenge stereotypes.

The Air Force celebrated Marsh’s historic win with a tweet captioned “#AimHigh” alongside photos of her in uniform and receiving the crown. It’s a fitting hashtag for a woman who graduated from the Academy with a physics degree focused on astronomy, reaching for the stars literally and figuratively.

In an interview with The Harvard Crimson, she drew parallels between the Air Force and the world of pageantry. Marsh stated that in uniform, she “serve(s) and… represent(s) our country,” but that “with the crown and sash, (she) represent(s)” the community.

This dedication to service blossomed during her first year at the Air Force Academy, where she embarked on her pageant journey. According to the newly crowned Miss America, she doubts she would have made it into Harvard without attending the Air Force Academy, claiming it helped her to gain admission. She stated, “(the academy) trained me and honed in on my leadership.”

The star captivated audiences with her spoken word piece on obtaining her private pilot’s license at the tender age of 16 during the talent segment of the competition. But it’s not just personal triumphs that motivate Marsh. This year, she plans to focus her platform on raising awareness and research funding for pancreatic cancer, a disease that tragically took her mother’s life.

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