A 22-year-old United States Air Force fighter pilot in training to become a Top Gun has achieved the title of Miss America. Madison Marsh, hailing from Fort Smith, Arkansas, secured the prestigious award at a ceremony in Orlando, Florida, on Sunday.
Having been crowned Miss Colorado in May 2023, Second Lt. Marsh competed in the finals to claim the top honor. Notably, she is the first active-duty officer from any branch of the military to represent at the national level of the Miss America organization.
A highly accomplished individual, Marsh holds titles such as National Truman Scholar, two-time National Astronaut scholar, eight-time Dean’s List at the Air Force (three-times Superintendent’s List), National Rhodes finalist, certified private pilot, and a black belt in taekwondo.
In the event featuring 51 contestants representing all 50 US states and the District of Columbia, Miss Texas, Ellie Breaux, emerged as the runner-up and would step in if Marsh is unable to complete a full year of service.
The historic victory witnessed the US Air Force fighter pilot, training for Top Gun, expressing tears of joy as gold and silver confetti surrounded her after being crowned the winner.
Despite acknowledging she can’t dance or sing, Marsh revealed her dedication to practicing mock interviews and refining her pageant walk.
Marsh spoke passionately on the subject of ‘drugs in America,’ during the discussion round, sharing her personal connection to her late mother’s battle with pancreatic cancer.
Contestants are now allowed to present a monologue as part of their ‘talent’, and for that round hers centered on receiving her pilot’s license at 16. She highlighted how her military credentials embody her commitment to learning and leading with passion.