Miss Utah Jill Stevens will have a combat boot up on the competition next month when she dons her pageant gown in Las Vegas.
Stevens, a contestant in the 2008 Miss America pageant, is also a sergeant in the Utah National Guard's 1st Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment.
But touting her slogan "Lock and Load," it's clear she's not your average beauty contestant. In fact, it wasn't until she was recruited for the Miss Southern Utah University pageant — where she studied nursing — that she even thought of entering a beauty contest.
“Actually, I laughed at the first thought of that," she said in an Army Web site video. "I was like, there’s no way. I wear combat boots, OK? I don’t do heels. I didn’t even own a pair of high heels.“
She won the university crown and a second runner-up title in the 2006 Miss Utah pageant before winning her state's title this year.
Her success landed her on the cover of this month's Soldiers magazine, as well as a prominent blog on the Army's Web site, G.I. Jill, chronicling her race to the crown.
The Miss America pageant will be held on Jan. 26, 2008.