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The Army conquered the Miss USA pageant Sunday, when Army officer Deshauna Barber took the crown and will move on to compete in the Miss Universe competition.
Given her experience, she was asked about women in combat.
“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,” she said, according to Fox News. “Gender does not limit us in the United States.”
The 26-year-old Army Reserve lieutenant currently serves one weekend per month and is the first military member to have won the pageant, and she has already discussed that possibility with her superior officers.
“My commander should be watching right now,” Barber said. “Two days a month is definitely not active duty. It is an obligation that I signed up for but they are very flexible in the United States Army Reserves.”
As an Army Reserve officer, she said she plans to use her title during the year to focus on problems facing the military — including post traumatic stress disorder among veterans returning from deployment overseas. She also said that this issue isn’t addressed as strongly as it should among the 2016 presidential candidates.
“I think that a lot of the topics that they discuss isn’t as important,” Barber said.
Barber shared personal feelings about the military that likely resonated with Americans more than her politically correct answer about women in combat.
According to the Daily Mail:
Previously, Barber has said that joining the military was the ‘greatest decision’ she has ever made and while she has not yet been deployed overseas, if President Obama asked her to fight in Iraq, she would jump at the opportunity.
‘I’d be there in a heartbeat,’ she told the Las Vegas Sun. ‘That’s what I signed up for 10 years ago, and that’s a commitment that I still stand on today.’
‘I think that when it’s your time to go, it’s your time to go. If your life happens to make the ultimate sacrifice for this country, I think it’s the best way.’
Barber was born in Columbus, Georgia, but has lived in multiple states due to her father’s military career before settling in Washington, D.C. Barber’s father served in the Special Forces for 24 years and that’s how he met her mother, who was also in the military.
Barber talks about her service in touching video:
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