Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sgt. Jill Stevens, Utah National Guard's 1st Bat­tal­ion, 211th Avi­a­tion Reg­i­ment served her country in Afghanistan.

This shows that the combination of Beauty, Brains and Patriotism is always a winning combination....ARMY STRONG INDEED. Sgt. Jill Stevens, Utah National Guard.


A com­bat medic and Miss Utah 2007, Sgt. Jill Stevens is a mem­ber of the Utah National Guard's 1st Bat­tal­ion, 211th Avi­a­tion Reg­i­ment.

Sgt. Jill Stevens gives moti­va­tional talks to stu­dents about her slo­gan, "Lock and Load," which she trans­lates to "Be ready for any­thing and make every moment count." And last month she vis­ited Sol­diers at Wal­ter Reed Army Med­ical Cen­ter in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., and ran the Marine Corps Marathon.

Sgt. Stevens joined the Army National Guard six months before 9/11. Two years later, she deployed to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, where she cared for 10 to 40 Sol­diers a day at the med­ical aid station.

It was in Afghanistan that retired Sgt. 1st Class Lee Porter pre­dicted Sgt. Stevens would one day be Miss Amer­ica, a year before she con­sid­ered enter­ing a pageant. "She's an all-around amaz­ing girl, the type of per­son who's going to make a dif­fer­ence in people's lives," he said.

The divide between Sol­dier and beauty queen, beret and tiara, evening gown and Army com­bat uni­form, is not so vast to Sgt. Stevens.

"To me, they go hand in hand. The mil­i­tary wants peo­ple to get an edu­ca­tion, to be fit and, above all, to serve. It's the same with Miss Amer­ica. They also want you to be edu­cated; they also pro­mote fit­ness; and the biggest part is ser­vice. Both teach you to be leaders."

Which title best suits her?

"Oh, def­i­nitely the Sol­dier," she said. "I show up to my Miss Utah events in uni­form. In parades, I'm in uni­form instead of an evening gown to show that this is who I am."