Army Officer Deshauna Barber Wins Miss USA 2016, Answers Question About Women Doing Combat In the Military

Deshauna Barber bested 51 other contestants as she went on to take the Miss USA crown this year. The representative of District of Columbia took the top spot triumphing over Miss Hawaii Chelsea Hardin, who won first runner-up, and Miss Georgia Emanii Davis, who was named the second runner-up.

The Miss USA event was held at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday. Barber was crowned by Olivia Jordan, last year’s winner and Miss Universe second runner-up, People reported.

Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach was also around to present Barber with the Miss USA sash.

Barber was born in Georgia but has been moving around considering that her father was a military man. The 26-year-old is also in the military, where she is presently the “Logistics Commander for the 988th Quartermaster Detachment Unit at Fort Meade, Md,” said the Daily Caller.

In a question and answer, she was asked by one of the judges regarding her position about women getting combat roles as decided by Pentagon.

The judge went on to ask, “Now some have questioned whether this has put political correctness over our military’s ability to perform at the highest level. What are your thoughts?”

“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 military,” answered Barber. “We are just as tough as men.”

The new Miss USA also shared her thoughts regarding what it means to her to be “confidently beautiful” during the final round,” shared E! News. Barber responded by explaining that being so transcends one’s physical appearance. In answering the question, she again brought up her experience having served in the military.

“To me, confidently beautiful means understanding that it’s not always about your appearance. It’s not always about who you’re around and how they feel you look, where they feel you come from or your economic background,” Barber said.

“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.”

She added, “And although I’m small, I’m powerful and confidently beautiful is being myself and being very happy with who I’ve become. Thank you.”

Barber wasn’t the only contestant who faced tough questions. Miss Hawaii was asked who she would vote for president between former State Secretary Hillary Clinton and GOP presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Per the news site, Hardin recognized that there was no way to answer the inquiry correctly. The question, however, was framed highlighting the fact that the former First Lady is the first female that would likely be “nominated by a major political party for the White House.”

The 24-year-old student then said that gender is immaterial when voting for president. Nevertheless, she said that the welfare of the country should be the new president’s priority.

Miss USA is seemingly bouncing back after the controversy it had to face last year. It can be recalled that former pageant co-owner, Trump, offended Hispanics when he made anti-immigrant comments. The said remarks prompted NBC to cut ties with the businessman and to refuse the showing of the pageant.

Univision, a Spanish-language network, also pulled the plugs on broadcasting the show. Trump went on to sue both NBC and Univision, but the lawsuit has since been settled.

The Miss USA 2016 pageant began with 52 contenders, representing each state as well as one for D.C. and a 52nd competitor chosen by fans, vying for the crown. The girls were then slashed down to 15 contestants, who competed in the bikini portion. After that, another five were taken off the list, leaving only 10 beauties who paraded in their long gowns.

From 10, only five were selected to participate in the question and answer portion.

[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]