Madison Marsh, a 22-year-old second lieutenant in the US Air Force and master’s student at the Harvard Kennedy School’s public policy program, won the 2024 Miss America pageant in Orlando, Florida, making her the first active-duty Air Force officer to receive the national title.

Ellie Breaux of Texas was the first runner-up in the pageant, which featured 51 contestants representing all 50 US states and the District of Columbia.

The pageant included three nights of preliminary competitions, with the field narrowed down to 11 semi-finalists for the main event.

The competition comprised four rounds: a fitness showcase, a "hot topics" discussion round, a talent performance, and an evening gown presentation.

In the discussion round, Marsh addressed the topic of "drugs in America" by sharing her late mother's battle with pancreatic cancer. Her talent performance was a spoken-word piece about obtaining a pilot's license at 16.

The finalists also answered a question about their goals as Miss America, with Marsh emphasizing her military credentials and commitment to learning and leading "with passion."

Madison Marsh succeeds Grace Stanke of Wisconsin, the 2023 Miss America.

The 2024 Miss America’s Teen pageant crowned 16-year-old Hanley House of North Carolina on Saturday night.