Miss USA 2016 is Deshauna Barber, who represented Washington DC during last year’s competition. For 2017, there are 51 contestants competing in hopes of taking home the crown and Barber will have to relinquish her crown. Let’s get to know a little about Barber before her reign as Miss USA comes to an end.
When Barber is not traveling the world, US Weekly reports that she is a logistics commander for the Army. She is also an IT analyst for the U.S. Department of Commerce. In fact, one of Barber’s biggest causes when she was going into the 2016 Miss USA Pageant was treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Her focus was on the treatment of soldiers who return home from deployment and continue to suffer. At last year’s pageant, Barber wanted to speak about the importance of gender equality in the military. On stage, Barber stated:
As a woman in the United States Army, I think it was an amazing job by our government to allow women to integrate into every branch of the militaryWe are just as tough as men. As a commander of my unit, I’m powerful, I am dedicated. And it is important that we recognize that gender does not limit us in the United States Army.
Barber’s father was also in the military and he is now a retired Army Master Sergeant.
Barber’s official bio as Miss USA goes into further detail about her army background, saying:
Deshauna Barber is the first woman actively serving in the US Army Reserve to win the title of Miss USA. After completing her Masters of Science in Computer Information Systems at the University of Maryland, Deshauna returned to live in Washington, D.C. working as an IT Analyst for the U.S. Department of Commerce. Deshauna has been spending her year as Miss USA working directly with soldiers suffering from PTSD and focusing on suicide prevention in the Armed Forces.
For this year’s preliminary competition, which aired via live stream on Thursday, May 11, 2017, Barber was one of the event’s co-hosts. And, when Barber competed in the 2016 Miss Universe Pageant, she came in the top 9.
Once her reign as Miss USA ends, Barber appears to intend on continuing her work with the army. In fact, by the looks of her Instagram account, she was promoted from First Lieutenant to Captain in the U.S. Army Reserve.