Under the Radar

Miss America Joins the Air Force

Teresa Scanlan, Miss America 2011, speaks to the crew of the Military Sealift Command dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Charles Drew from the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George during a replenishment at sea. (Christopher Johnson/U.S. Navy)

2011 Miss America Teresa Scanlan announced on Instagram that she's joined the United States Air Force.

Ever since my year as Miss America, I had a dream of joining the military. ...This summer, that dream finally came true. . I am beyond honored and humbled to announce that I am now officially an A1C in the Air National Guard and graduated Air Force Basic Training as an Honor Graduate (top 10%) last weekend. The title of “airman” is one I proudly hold and I hope to represent the Air Force well. . As Miss America, most people know that I spent much of my time with the military. Whether visiting Walter Reed and Bethesda military hospitals, working with the USO, or doing base visits, I became overwhelmed with appreciation for our troops and I had a growing sense that I needed to do more to serve. I knew I wanted to do more than sign autographs and take pictures with our armed forces; I wanted to serve alongside them. Now, almost 8 years later, that dream is a reality, and one that I will not ever take for granted. . Most people know that over the past 8 years I have rarely been able to keep anything private in my life. Yet this was one thing that I wanted to remain private for a while, so I apologize to anyone I haven’t been responding to over the past 2 months while I was at basic. This dream was highly personal, so I didn’t want to make grand announcements and deal with other people giving their opinions before I joined. . Now that I’ve officially graduated and am ready to begin my service while in law school over the next 3 years however, I’m more than happy to share my decision. It’s one that I don’t regret and of which I’ll forever be incredibly proud. ...And now I begin the process of responding to everyone that has messaged me over the past 2 months! 😫😂 . #airforce #usaf #airnationalguard #militarymom #missamerica #curvesandcombatboots #military

A post shared by Teresa Scanlan (@teresascanlan) on

Scanlan is now an Airman First Class in the Air National Guard. She's also a law student at UC Berkley.

During her term as Miss America, Scanlan participated in USO tours, visited Walter Reed and Bethesda military hospitals and toured several military installations.

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November is Military Family Appreciation Month