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HomeGeneralUS Air Force Fighter Pilot Enters Miss America Contest

US Air Force Fighter Pilot Enters Miss America Contest

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A picture of Madison Marsh
Source: Usairforce/Twitter

Madison Marsh, a US Air Force 2nd lieutenant training to be a Top Gun fighter pilot, could also potentially become the next Miss America. Marsh, who acquired her pilot’s license at 17, has pursued a career in the US Air Force, earning a coveted spot to train as a fighter pilot.

The 22-year-old Harvard University student secured the title of Miss Colorado in May 2023. Her accomplishment came just before graduating from the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) and being commissioned as an Air Force Officer.

Madison Marsh, originally from Arkansas, ventured into pageant competition as an extracurricular activity while at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA). Now, as a 2nd lieutenant in the US Air Force, she is set to vie for the Miss America crown in Florida. 

Marsh appreciates pageants for their emphasis on community service and public speaking. She also commends the evolving nature of the pageant system, particularly in terms of its focus on women’s fitness.

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Madison Marsh believes she is making history as the first active-duty officer from any military branch to represent the Miss America organization nationally.

“Pageants are changing, and one of the ways is what being physically fit means to women,” Marsh explained. “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.”

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She participated in her first pageant while attending USAFA. She said: “As a freshman at the Academy, you might have difficulty finding your identity in a very new and challenging environment. 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.”

Marsh was crowned Miss Colorado three years later, which she said was “very surreal.”

In her role as Miss Colorado, Madison Marsh engaged with young girls and shared her experiences as a pilot and military officer. She sees pageantry as an opportunity to challenge and dispel stereotypes that persist about women in the military.

She said: “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 realize that you don’t have to limit yourself.”

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Madison Marsh developed a passion for science from a young age and aspired to become a pilot and astronaut. Encouraged by her parents, she had the opportunity to attend Space Camp at the age of 13, where she had the chance to meet astronauts and fighter pilots, further fueling her dreams.

Around 13, Madison Marsh learned about the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA). At 15, she commenced flying lessons and achieved her pilot’s license two years later. Subsequently, she set her sights on becoming a cadet at the academy.

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