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3 Things You Should Know About Miss USA 2016 Winner, Deshauna Barber

3 Things You Should Know About Miss USA 2016 Winner, Deshauna Barber

Photos courtesy of Miss USA/Miss Universe

Congratulations to the District of Columbia’s Deshauna Barber for being crowned Miss USA 2016!

“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,” Deshauna Barber said. “Gender does not limit us in the United States.” (

Sunday evening’s Miss USA competition in Las Vegas, Nevada left many wondering more about Miss. Barber. With competitors like second runner-up Miss. Georgia’s Emanii Davis and runner-up Miss. Chelsea Hardin of Hawaii, Barber stands as a 26 year-old Army Commander and leader, to say the least. Discover three interesting facts about this year’s 2016 Miss USA winner, Deshauna Barber.

  1. She’s Beauty and Brains

Deshauna Barber is the first Miss USA to serve in the U.S. Army and holds the position as a logistics Commander for the 988th Quartermaster Detachment Unit at Fort Meade, Maryland. In 2011, Barber graduated from Virginia State University and according to The Washington Post, Barber joined the military at age 17.

“I consider it to be a family tradition,” said Barber when referencing her families’ vast legacy in military service. As of today, Barber is working as an IT analyst for the U.S. department of Commerce.

  1. She’s Making History

Barber makes history as the ninth African American Miss USA pageant winner since Nana Merriwether of Maryland in 2012. Past winners include the first African American winner, Carole Gist (Miss USA 1990 as Miss Michigan), Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star, Kenya Moore (Miss USA 1993 as Miss Michigan), and Tyler Perry’s “For Better or Worse” star, Crystle Stewart (Miss USA 2008 as Miss Texas.)

  3. She’s an Advocate

Barber not only advocates for women in the military, but also the importance of mental health regarding those returning from service.

According to, when asked about whether the Pentagon’s decision to open up all combat roles to women, Barber responded, “’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 said as the crowd erupted. ‘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.””

According to, Barber hopes to use her profile as Miss USA to highlight the health issues veterans face when they return from combat, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

Barber will now advance to compete in the 2016 Miss Universe Pageant, with a date that has yet to be determined.

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