Madison Marsh, Miss America 2024, is the 1st Active Duty Military Officer to Win the Pageant

     Image Credit: Instagram

Last Month, Madison Marsh made history as she became the first active-duty US soldier to be crowned Miss America on Sunday. This Miss Colorado winner is only 22 and currently studying at Harvard University. She is also training to be a Top Gun fighter pilot after she graduates. 

Miss America Finalists 2024

Madison Marsh previously held the title of Miss Colorado before she was crowned Miss America 2024. She is the first active-duty officer from any branch of the military to not only represent Miss America but also be crowned as the winner. This showed the organization in a whole new light.

Moreover, this year’s runner-up is Ellie Breaux. Ellie holds the title of Miss Texas and will be called to step in if Marsh is unable to complete a full year of service. Cydney Bridges bagged the third-place spot in the competition. She holds the title of Miss Indiana. Mallory Hudson came in fourth and holds the title of Miss Kentucky, while Caroline Parente came in fifth and is Miss Rhode Island. 

Who is Madison Marsh?

Marsh studied at Harvard University before graduating from the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA). She began her duty as an Air Force Officer early last year. Throughout her time at the academy, March competed in pageants as an extracurricular activity that she often enjoyed.

She revealed how she loved the aspect of pageants where she could do community service and public speaking. These two activities are very close to her heart. She applauds the pageant system and how it evolved from something that was unhealthy to something that focuses on fitness. 

Marsh even reveals, “Pageants are changing, and one of the ways is in what being physically fit means to women.” She also says, “For me, it's great because I need to stay physically fit and in the gym for the military, so it already coincides with pageant training.” She further reveals, “My cousin had competed in pageants for a long time, and one of the big things about it that I love is the community service aspect and the focus on public speaking.”

Image Credit: Instagram

Breaking Stereotypes

One of the things Marsh loves to do is talk to young girls about being a pilot and serving in the military. She wants to break the stereotypes that exist about military women. 

“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. 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.”

Author Bio

Alyaziah Hayat is a 23-year-old journalist covering history, finance, crime, and pop culture news and events. She has an eye for detail and is always looking for the next big story. Looking to work with her? Reach out here!