BLACK VOICES
06/06/2016 01:09 am ET Updated Jun 06, 2016

Miss USA 2016 Crown Goes To D.C. Army Reserve Officer Deshauna Barber

“As a woman in the United States Army, I think … we are just as tough as men. Gender does not limit us”
Deshauna Barber (C) of the District of Columbia celebrates with other contestants after being crowned Miss USA 2016 during th
Steve Marcus/Reuters
Deshauna Barber (C) of the District of Columbia celebrates with other contestants after being crowned Miss USA 2016 during the 2016 Miss USA pageant at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday.

Deshauna Barber, a 26-year-old Army Reserve officer from the District of Columbia, won the Miss USA crown on Sunday night.

During the annual beauty pageant, which was held at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Barber beat out 51 other women for the title. She will go on to compete in the Miss Universe contest later this year.

Barber works as an IT analyst for the U.S. Department of Commerce and is a logistics commander for the 988th Quartermaster Detachment Unit at Fort Meade, Maryland, according to her Miss USA profile.

“As a woman in the United States Army, I think … we are just as tough as men. As a commander of my unit, I'm powerful, I am dedicated,” Barber said when asked about women in combat. “Gender does not limit us in the United States Army.” 

Miss District of Columbia USA 2016 Deshauna Barber (L) is congratulated by Miss Teen USA 2016 Katherine Haik.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Miss District of Columbia USA 2016 Deshauna Barber (L) is congratulated by Miss Teen USA 2016 Katherine Haik.

Miss Hawaii Chelsea Hardin was the first runner-up at the pageant. Second runner-up was Miss Georgia Emanii Davis.

A total of 52 women participated in the pageant this year. In addition to representatives from each state and D.C., 26-year-old Oklahoma native Alexander Miller served as “Miss 52 USA” after she was voted in by fans.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misidentified Miss Georgia Emanii Davis as the first runner up. She was the second runner-up. 

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