DeShauna Barber: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Miss USA Deshauna Barber 2017 UN Women for Peace Association March In March Awards Luncheon at ONE UN New York on March 10, 2017 in New York City. (Getty)

Reigning Miss USA, Deshauna Barber, will be handing over her crown tonight and she has mixed feelings about it. The pageant winner recently told Fox she felt, “Excited, but sad and anxious. Combination of feelings when you’re passing over your reign. You feel accomplished and humble and thankful for the experience. I feel lucky to be able to crown the next winner of 2017.”

Although her time as Miss USA is coming to an end, Barber’s work is far from done. She plans on transitioning full-time to motivational speaking in the upcoming year, and also hopes to continue to do work on behalf of military families and veterans.

Read on to learn more about 27-year-old Deshauna Barber.


1. She Is a Lieutenant in the Army Reserves

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Barber works as a logistics commander for the US Army and is an IT analyst for the US Department of Commerce. The focus of her platform was PTSD treatment for soldiers returning from war.

Barber’s response during the Miss USA Q&A segment earned her loud cheers from the audience last year, and many cite it as the reason she took home the crown. Asked about the Pentagon’s decision to allow women to work in US combat jobs, Barber said:

As a woman in the United States Army, I think it was an amazing job by our government to allow women to integrate to every branch of the military,” she said. “We are just as tough as men. 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.

In a press conference following her win last June, Barber said that she planned to take time off from the Army Reserves to focus on her duties as Miss USA.

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2. She Placed in the Top 9 at Miss Universe 2016


Meet Miss USA 2016 Deshauna BarberDeshauna Barber is the first military member to be crowned Miss USA. She joins Tanya Rivero to discuss her historic win, her work in the military and what's next for her. Subscribe to the WSJ channel here: bit.ly/14Q81Xy More from the Wall Street Journal: Visit WSJ.com: wsj.com Follow WSJ on Facebook: facebook.com/wsjvideo Follow WSJ on…2016-06-08T17:33:47.000Z

In January, Barber competed at the Miss Universe pageant, where she placed in the top 9.

She and the reigning Miss Universe, Iris Mittenaere, spoke to AOL.com in February at Fashion Week about their plans for the future. Asked if she thinks she’ll be taking more fashion risks now that Miss Universe is over, Barber said, “Oh, yeah! I think that when it comes to New York Fashion Week, it’s literally the only opportunity for us to step out of that pageant box… myself, having competed at Miss Universe and placing top nine, I’m not competing anymore either, so I can do whatever I want now.”

Barber explained that she’s set many goals for herself in 2017, despite the fact that she’s no longer competing. “I look forward to continuing my impact. My platform as Miss USA has been focused on our military and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for our soldiers, so I just look forward to spending the last four months of my reign focused on that. Then, I’m going to go into motivational speaking after this is done.”


3. She Has Her Master’s Degree in Management Information Systems and Services

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Miss USA Deshauna Barber attends Carmen Marc Valvo during New York Fashion Week on February 14, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)

Barber received a business management degree from Virginia State University before earning her master’s in management information systems from the University of Maryland University College.

The 27-year-old was born in Georgia to a military family– both her parents are military veterans. She was, interestingly enough, discovered while working at a Target store. According to Cosmo, Barber was working at Target between her freshman and sophomore years at college when a customer began asking her about where she was born and how old she was. The woman turned out to be a former Miss Texas USA contestant who told Deshauna she thought she should consider pageants. That woman ended up being her coach.

Barber is extremely disciplined, and says she worked very hard when prepping for Miss USA. In the military, Barber was forced to wake up at 5am to train for physical fitness tests, and she approached Miss USA with the same rigor. She took notes, paid attention, and “made sure that I knew how to be the best that I could be when I walked the stage.”


4. She Has Committed Herself to Supporting President Donald Trump

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In January, Barber voiced her commitment to President Trump, telling ABS-CBN News, “I serve in the United States military and it is my duty and an oath that I took to serve my nation which I plan on doing… I have to follow my commander-in-chief.” She also admitted that she didn’t vote for him.

Barber said that even though 2016 was a polarizing year that divided the country, she believes America “is going to be jump these hurdles.” Prior to competing in the Miss Universe pageant, she said, “The problem in terms of politics and the things we have to deal with is that nobody wants to talk about it. The first step is to have a conversation and bring both parties to come together. It’s incredibly unfortunate how divided we are but I know that we’re gonna be okay,” she added.”

During the Miss USA pageant, Miss Hawaii was asked who she would be voting for in the election. Crowds booed when she answered that gender does not matter when deciding the next commander-in-chief. “All I have to say is, it doesn’t matter what gender. What we need in the United States is someone who represents those of us who feel like we don’t have a voice. We need a president who will push for what is right and what America really needs.”


5. She Says She Would Like to Be an Actress One Day

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Miss USA Deshauna Barber 2017 UN Women for Peace Association March In March Awards Luncheon at ONE UN New York on March 10, 2017 in New York City. (Getty)

Barber tells Cosmo that one day, she hopes to become an actress. “I think I would make an awesome actress,” Barber says. “Now that I really sit back and think, I just know that I’m not meant to be in a cubicle.. I want to be in a different world.” Barber says Game of Thrones would be her dream show to work on.

She also tells Cosmo that one of the most difficult parts of becoming a pageant queen was learning how to dress up, look 100% all the time, and apply makeup accurately. “Being glamorous and being girly is something that’s not really incorporated in my childhood,” she says, discussing her military roots. “To have that moment of glamour, to really get dolled up and so empowered on stage, show off all your hard work, your body, your gown, I fell in love with the industry and I’ve been doing it ever since.”


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