Sgt. Jill Stevens, a member of 1st Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment, Utah National Guard, was crowned Miss Utah at the 2007 pageant in Salt Lake City. Stevens competed as Miss Davis County against 49 other contestants from Utah. She was the only member of the military in the competition. Hoo-rah!
Stevens is a combat veteran. She served as a medic during an 18-month tour in Afghanistan in 2004-2005 supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
The adjutant general of the Utah National Guard, Maj. Gen Brian Tarbet said of her, “Jill Stevens is a wonderful ambassador for the Guard. Obviously she is bright and attractive, but most important, she’s a terrific soldier.”
In addition to her pageant success and military experience, Stevens is also an accomplished marathoner. She was run numerous marathons, even participating in what the Afghan National Olympic Committee claimed was the first marathon in the country’s history, according to the Associated Press. In that race, Stevens was the first woman to cross the finish line, finishing seventh overall.
She had just started nursing school at Southern Utah University in the fall of 2005 when the school’s pageant director recruited her to run for Miss SUU. “I was like, ‘Yeah, right.’ I wear combat boots; I don’t do heels,” she said.
Jill recently graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Nursing program at Southern Utah University on a four-year leadership scholarship. In 2006 she placed 3rd in the Cinco De Mayo Sailboat Regatta in Mexico, and last summer, Jill was chosen one of four women for the “Women of Strength” featured in Muscle and Fitness Hers Magazine September/October 2007 issue.
Unfortunately, Sgt Stevens was eliminated in the Miss America finals in Las Vegas last January. What a credit to the National Guard, The State of Utah, her alma mater, her church, and her family. Congratulations Sergeant Stevens.
Yeeooow! Words fail me.