Deshauna Barber, a serving U.S. Army officer and an IT analyst at the U.S. Department of Commerce, has been crowned Miss USA 2016.
Twenty-six-year-old Barber, representing the U.S. capital as Miss District of Columbia, was declared winner of the pageant ahead of runners-up Miss Georgia Emanii Davis and Miss Hawaii Chelsea Hardin in Las Vegas Sunday night.
According to her biography on the pageant’s website, Barber was commissioned as a Quartermaster Officer in 2011 and is currently a Logistics Commander for the 988th Quartermaster Detachment Unit based at Fort Meade, Maryland.
Barber, who hails from a military family — her father is a retired Army Master Sergeant who served in Iraq — told the Washington Post that she considers military service “a family tradition.” And during the interview segment of the pageant, she praised the U.S. for opening all combat roles to women.
“I think it was an amazing job by our government to allow women to integrate to every branch of the military,” she said. “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.”