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National Guard Combat Medic Crowned Miss Utah

A nice change occurred in Utah as a National Guard combat medic is crowned Miss Utah. Sometimes nice people really do finish first. As we continue to see scandals, drugs and the “me-first” mentality of politicians, athletes, and others, it’s nice to see someone actually consider others first.

Jill Stevens can look like a tough and gritty soldier one day and a beauty queen the next. As a sergeant in the Utah National Guard, she’s a combat medic who spent a year in Afghanistan patching up injured troops back in 2004 and 2005.

This past Friday, the 24-year-old self-described “electric” person, nicknamed “Smiles,” was crowned Miss Utah.

Utah Guard spokesman Maj. Hank McIntire said having a Miss America 2008 contestant among the ranks here is a positive thing. It draws attention to the Guard in a unique way,” McIntire said. “You don’t typically see a beauty queen in combat boots.”

Stevens’ title, he said, adds a new dimension to the kinds of things a Guard member can accomplish. He said the new Miss Utah will serve as a role model for young women who might not otherwise consider joining the Guard.

“She has a legitimate shot at winning Miss America,” McIntire said. “Just because of the kind of person she is.”

And she runs marathons too! After all the garbage in today’s news, we thought something on the positive side was in order.


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