US Air Force Officer Named 2024 Miss America

Madison Marsh, a highly accomplished 22-year-old second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force and a master’s student at the prestigious Harvard Kennedy School’s public policy program, emerged triumphant at the 2024 Miss America pageant held in Orlando, Florida on Sunday night. It is worth noting that Marsh, who represented the state of Colorado, has made history as the first active-duty Air Force officer to ever receive this distinguished national title.

Among the contestants, Ellie Breaux of Texas secured the first runner-up position, showcasing the immense talent and grace exhibited by the participants. This year’s pageant featured a total of fifty-one contenders, representing all fifty U.S. states, as well as the District of Columbia, adding an exciting element of diversity to the competition.

The pageant, spanning over three nights, commenced with preliminary competitions, leading up to the highly anticipated main event. At the onset of the grand occasion, the field was narrowed down to eleven semi-finalists. Ten of these were chosen by the preliminary judges, while the eleventh was determined through a public vote, allowing pageant enthusiasts and followers from across the United States to participate in the selection process.

The remaining eleven contestants engaged in four rounds of intense competition, each highlighting their unique abilities. These rounds included a captivating fitness showcase, where the participants strutted down the runway in rhinestone-embellished athleisure attire. The traditional Q&A segment was replaced by a stimulating “hot topics” discussion round, covering a range of subjects from terrorism and technology to nutrition and climate change. Additionally, the talent round showcased the exceptional skills of each contestant, while the evening gown presentation exuded elegance and sophistication. Finally, after these rigorous rounds, the top five finalists were announced, with Marsh and Breaux leading the rankings, followed by Cydney Bridges of Indiana, Mallory Hudson of Kentucky, and Caroline Parente of Rhode Island.

In the thought-provoking discussion round, which explored various pressing issues, Marsh eloquently addressed the topic of “drugs in America” by sharing her personal experience of her late mother’s battle with pancreatic cancer. This heartfelt response resonated with the audience and highlighted her empathy and compassion. During the talent round, Marsh captivated the audience with a powerful spoken-word piece centered around her accomplishment of obtaining a pilot’s license at the young age of 16. The final challenge for the five finalists involved answering a question about their goals as Miss America. Marsh emphasized her military background as a testament to her dedication to learning and leading with unwavering passion.

Marsh’s remarkable triumph follows in the footsteps of Grace Stanke of Wisconsin, who held the esteemed title of Miss America in 2023. As the new Miss America, Marsh is now bestowed with the responsibility of representing the nation with grace, intelligence, and unwavering commitment.

In a separate event held the previous night, the 2024 Miss America’s Teen pageant crowned 16-year-old Hanley House from North Carolina. This inspiring event provided a platform for talented young women to showcase their potential and set their sights on future achievements.

As the curtains close on this year’s Miss America pageant, it is evident that Madison Marsh’s exceptional journey and victory will be remembered as a testament to her dedication, poise, and outstanding accomplishments. The future holds great promise for this remarkable young woman, and her reign as Miss America 2024 is sure to leave an indelible mark on the nation.

This article is exclusive property of The-CNN-Wire & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

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