The 63rd Miss USA pageant took place on FOX Sunday night with judges Nigel BarkerAli Landry and Joe Zee.

Miss USA 2016 Winner: Deshauna Barber

The competition began with 52 women, all of whom began preparations for the competition immediately after winning the title for their states. The only exception being Miss Number 52 who won the opportunity through a contest sponsored by Sheri Hill.

From the initial 52 candidates only 15 were able to advance to the swim suit portion after a preliminary competition held a week before the pageant. Following this 10 contestants moved onto the evening gown section of the competition. Finally the top five contenders entered the Q&A segment of the night.

This is where Deshauna Barber, Miss District of Columbia and now Miss USA, solidified her position.

When asked to define what it means to be “confidently beautiful” Barber answered:

“To me ‘confidently beautiful’ means understanding that it’s not always about your appearance,” Barber said. “Serving in the military has taught me that being confidently beautiful is about being able to earn respect from people regardless of what you look like. As a woman in the military, people associate beauty with weakness and they learn very quickly that I’m extremely strong. And although I’m small, I’m powerful and confidently beautiful is being myself and being very happy with who I’ve become. Thank you.”

According to her Miss USA bio, Barber is a 26-year-old Army Reserve officer and IT analyst for the U.S. Department of Commerce, currently serving as a logistics commander for the 988th Quartermaster Detachment Unit in Fort Meade, Md.

Barber comes from a family well aquatinted with the armed forces and considers it a family tradition. Her parents met serving in the Army and their children followed suit.

Barber plans to use her new position to achieve greater support for returning soldiers for issues such as PTSD and suicide prevention.

As Miss USA Barber will be representing the country in the next Miss Universe competition.

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