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Army Officer From Washington Wins Miss USA

  • VOA News

Deshauna Barber (L) of the District of Columbia reacts as Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbachshe gives her the winner's sash during the 2016 Miss USA pageant at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., June 5, 2016.

Deshauna Barber (L) of the District of Columbia reacts as Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbachshe gives her the winner's sash during the 2016 Miss USA pageant at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., June 5, 2016.

An Army officer from Washington, DC has won the Miss USA contest and will now represent the country in the Miss Universe pageant.

Deshauna Barber is a 26-year-old logistics commander for the 988th quartermaster detachment unit at Fort Meade, Maryland, just outside Washington, and also works as an IT analyst for the U.S. Department of Commerce.

"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 during Sunday's show televised on the Fox Network about women in combat. "Gender does not limit us in the United States," she said.

The pageant organization is recovering from a few controversies last year.

In December, comedian and talk show host Steve Harvey hosted the Miss Universe show and wrongly announced Miss Colombia as the winner instead of Miss Philippines. He acknowledged his mistake on stage, but came under a lot of criticism for his botched announcement of the winner.

Harvey made a brief appearance in a video in Sunday's Miss USA show poking fun at himself and his hosting snafu.

Also last year, presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was a co-owner of the Miss Universe organization, along with NBC Universal. However, after making disparaging remarks about Mexican immigrants in announcing his presidential bid, NBC - which had aired Miss Universe for several years - cut ties with Trump and refused to air the 2015 Miss Universe show.

Univision, the Spanish-language network, was also scheduled to air the show last year, but also refused to air it because of Trump's remarks.

Trump sued both companies. Both lawsuits were eventually settled.

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