This U.S. Air Force Pilot becomes the first active-duty Air Force officer to win Miss America

Madison Marsh, who was crowned Miss Colorado last year, is now set to make history by becoming the first active-duty US Air Force officer to compete for the Miss America title, the New York Post reported. The 22-year-old Arkansas native will join 49 other beauty queen hopefuls in competition on the Florida stage on January 13 and 14. Notably, Ms Marsh was crowned Miss Colorado in May 2023, just days before she graduated from the Air Force Academy with a degree in physics. She dutifully joined the branch as a second lieutenant, while also pursuing her master’s degree in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and training for the Miss America pageant.

“It’s an awesome experience to bring both sides of the favourite parts of my life together and hopefully make a difference for others to be able to realize that you don’t have to limit yourself,” Ms Marsh said, as per the outlet.

“In the military, it’s an open space to really lead in the way that you want to lead – in and out of uniform. I felt like pageants, and specifically winning Miss Colorado, was a way to truly exemplify that and to set the tone to help make other people feel more comfortable finding what means most to them,” she added.

The 22-year-old said that her physical training for the military came in handy during her preparation for the beauty pageant. “For me, it’s great because I need to stay physically fit and in the gym for the military, so it already coincides with pageant training,” she said. ‘

Further, reflecting on her journey, Ms Marsh revealed that she initially had her eyes set on a pilot’s license years before she ever considered competing in pageants. It was only after joining the Air Force Academy she decided to dabble in pageants as an “extracurricular activity”.

“As a freshman at the academy, you might have a hard time finding your identity in a very new and challenging environment,” she said, adding that her cousin had a history in the culture and always raved about the “community service aspect and the focus on public speaking”.

Ms Marsh’s “surreal” win of the Miss Colorado crown came three years later, solidifying her status as the first active-duty officer from any branch to represent at the national level of the Miss America organisation.

Post a commentNow, looking ahead, the 22-year-old said that if she secured the national crown this weekend, she would continue to use her platform to talk to young girls about serving in the military and to dispel stereotypes about military women. But she also stated that her journey will most likely take her into cancer research, a career inspired by the loss of her mother to pancreatic cancer.

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