This shows that the combination of Beauty, Brains and Patriotism is always a winning combination....ARMY STRONG INDEED. Sgt. Jill Stevens, Utah National Guard.
A combat medic and Miss Utah 2007, Sgt. Jill Stevens is a member of the Utah National Guard's 1st Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment.
Sgt. Jill Stevens gives motivational talks to students about her slogan, "Lock and Load," which she translates to "Be ready for anything and make every moment count." And last month she visited Soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and ran the Marine Corps Marathon.
Sgt. Stevens joined the Army National Guard six months before 9/11. Two years later, she deployed to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, where she cared for 10 to 40 Soldiers a day at the medical aid station.
It was in Afghanistan that retired Sgt. 1st Class Lee Porter predicted Sgt. Stevens would one day be Miss America, a year before she considered entering a pageant. "She's an all-around amazing girl, the type of person who's going to make a difference in people's lives," he said.
The divide between Soldier and beauty queen, beret and tiara, evening gown and Army combat uniform, is not so vast to Sgt. Stevens.
"To me, they go hand in hand. The military wants people to get an education, to be fit and, above all, to serve. It's the same with Miss America. They also want you to be educated; they also promote fitness; and the biggest part is service. Both teach you to be leaders."
Which title best suits her?
"Oh, definitely the Soldier," she said. "I show up to my Miss Utah events in uniform. In parades, I'm in uniform instead of an evening gown to show that this is who I am."