The New Miss USA Is An Army Officer With Some Strong Opinions on Women in Combat

“We are just as tough as men."
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“We are just as tough as men."
(Photo: @missdcusa on Instagram & Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(Photo: @missdcusa on Instagram & Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

This year's Miss USA crown could not have gone to a worthier contender than Miss District of Columbia Deshauna Barber.

An IT analyst with the Department of Commerce and an Army Reserve officer, the 26-year-old beauty queen was a strong contender from the outset. Still, commentators say her answer to a question regarding women in combat was her crowning glory.

“The Pentagon recently made the decision to open up all combat jobs to women,” asked judge Joe Zee during the interview portion. “Now some have questioned if this has put political correctness over our military’s ability to perform at the highest level. What are your thoughts?”

For her winning responce, Barber drew from her experience of joining the military at age 17.

“As a woman in the United States Army, I think it is an amazing job by our government to allow women to integrate into every branch of the military,” she answered

“We are just as tough as men. As a commander of my unit I am powerful, I am dedicated and it's important to recognize that gender does not limit us in the United States Army.”

In response to another question, Barber sounded off on misconceptions of beautiful woman:

“Serving in the military has taught me that being confidently beautiful is about being able to earn respect from people regardless of what you look like. As a woman in the military, people associate beauty with weakness and they learn very quickly that I’m extremely strong, and though I’m small, I’m powerful. Confidently beautiful is being myself and being very happy with who I’ve become."

Spoken like a true Miss USA. We can't wait to see Deshauna rep our country at Miss Universe.

h/t USA Today