JUST IN: Active Duty Air Force Pilot Crowned As 2024’S Miss America

Madison Marsh, a United States Air Force officer who recently graduated from the Air Force Academy in Colorado, won the Miss Colorado pageant in 2023, and is a master’s student at the Harvard Kennedy School’s public policy program, just became Miss America. She was crowned 2024’s Miss America on Sunday, January 14th.

Marsh, before being crowned Miss America, spoke to Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends Weekend” about her life and career. Speaking about what separated her from the pack, she said, “I started flying around 15, that’s whenever I kind of fell in love with the Air Force Academy and the idea of serving. And so I walk through what that flight looks like and some of the things that went wrong and how they relate to me today as a leader and an officer, and kind of how that goes into pageantry as well.”

She also tried to answer the “what is a woman” question, telling the hosts, “You know, serving to me – being a woman in the military is all what you make of it. And for me that’s been being able to do both – that means representing my mom who I lost to pancreatic cancer and living through her life, because I get to live even though she doesn’t.”

In any case, after winning the Miss America pageant, Marsh said in an interview shared on the Miss America pageant’s Instagram story, “You can achieve anything. The sky is not the limit and the only person that’s stopping you is you.”

The United States Air Force posted something of a similar message on X after her victory, saying, “Congratulations to our very own #Airman, 2nd Lt. Madison Marsh, aka Miss Colorado — who was just crowned @MissAmerica 2024! Marsh is the first active duty servicemember to ever win the title. #AimHigh”

The New York Post, quoting Marsh’s comments to SWNS before the Miss America pageant, noted that she said, when describing the opportunity, “It’s an awesome experience to bring both sides of the favorite parts of my life together and hopefully make a difference for others to be able to realize that you don’t have to limit yourself.”

Continuing, the New York Post quoted her as saying, “In the military, it’s an open space to really lead in the way that you want to lead — in and out of uniform. I felt like pageants, and specifically winning Miss Colorado, was a way to truly exemplify that and to set the tone to help make other people feel more comfortable finding what means most to them.”
She also commented on setting the record for being the first ever active-duty officer from the US military to appear in the Miss America pageant, telling SWNS, “It was very surreal. I believe I’m the first active-duty officer from any branch to represent at the national level of the Miss America organization.”
And, explaining what she cares about outside of military service and the pageant, Marsh said, “Towards the end of my time at USAFA, I started to realize that my bigger passions were in policy-making and cancer research, so that’s why I ended up at the Kennedy School.” She continued, “I’m now trying to take the next step and use my studies from the Kennedy School to learn about the inner workings and the difficulties of what policy really looks like … Issues like economic environments and other social pressures that might be inhibiting our ability to implement cancer policies that can affect all Americans.”
Featured image credit: Dogzgone123, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

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