Utah Guard Soldier

Takes Second at Miss Utah Pageant

 

Written by Sgt. Kelly Collett

Published August 16, 2006

 

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Spc. Jill Stevens, First Battalion, 211th Aviation, has six years in the Utah Guard and is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Photo by Sgt. Kelly Collett

Spc. Jill Stevens, First Battalion, 211th Aviation, has six years in

the Utah Guard and is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom.

DRAPER, Utah — Soldiers attending Basic Training often have the phrase “One shot, one kill,” drilled into them. But the military adage recently made its way into an unlikely place: the 2006 Miss Utah pageant, thanks to Spc. Jill Stevens, a medic from the 211th Aviation, Utah Army National Guard. 

Stevens uses those words as a reminder to capture the moment and do everything possible to do her best in whatever she is involved.

“Don’t waste your time. Don’t waste your moment.  Make every shot count,” Stevens says.

Her attitude was catching and soon other contestants in the pageant were pointing with their finger guns in passing saying, “One shot, one kill.”

Stevens got her start in the beauty pageant arena as Miss SUU (Southern Utah University), a title she won earlier this year.

She recalls laughing when her friends first suggested that she compete for the crown at the Cedar City school. She reminded them that her background is soldiering and being a medic and not being in beauty pageants.

“I wear running shoes and combat boots.  I don’t do heels,” she told them.  “I didn’t even know where to buy them in the first place.”

Spc. Jill Stevens, right, with Halima, a young girl who received corrective eye surgery thanks to the efforts of members of the 1-211th Aviation.

Photo courtesy of Spc. Jill Stevens

Spc. Jill Stevens, right, with Halima, a young girl who received corrective eye surgery thanks to the efforts of members of the 211th Aviation.

Stevens decided to bring out more of her femininity and compete in the SUU event.  She grew fond of the girls she participated with and even responded to their cries for a medic when one of them would get a blister from wearing high heels.

As Miss SUU she turned her attention to competing in the Miss Utah Pageant 2006.

Her fellow Miss Utah contestants did push-ups with her during breaks at rehearsals at the Capitol Theatre.  Stevens would have them spell out “Alpha,” their team name.  Then the team would make their hands into guns and put them all together in a circle and shout, “One shot, one kill!”

Stevens influence goes beyond the other pageant contestants. Two girls have already joined the Utah National Guard, citing her example as a Soldier in their decision to join up.

Jill Stevens models some casual wear with an Army flavor at the 2006 Miss Utah pageant.

Photo courtesy of Spc. Jill Stevens

Jill Stevens models some casual wear with an

Army flavor at the 2006 Miss Utah pageant.

In the July 8 pageant Stevens fared very well, besting every girl but two, finishing as second runner-up. Part of her appeal was the fact that she was a combat veteran, having served in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan as a medic with the 211th Aviation.  She has been a Soldier for nearly six years in the Utah National Guard.

Stevens looks forward to completing her bachelor’s and moving on to new adventures.  She would like to eventually move out of the country and give aid to less-fortunate people who suffer for lack of trained medical personnel and supplies. She gained some personal experience in that arena when she befriended a young Afghan girl named Halima who received corrective eye surgery thanks to the efforts of members of the 211th.

She is a big believer in making people smile.

“I really believe that laughter is the best medicine,” says Stevens.

She has given her time and made the best of all that has come her way.  She continues to be optimistic about her future and career.

“Life is to have fun and make the best of it,” she said. “One shot, one kill.”

Jill Stevens is congratulated by a fellow Miss Utah contestant as the news of Steven's first runner-up finish has yet to sink in.

Photo courtesy of Spc. Jill Stevens

Jill Stevens is congratulated by a fellow Miss Utah contestant as

the news of Stevens' first runner-up finish has yet to sink in.

 

 

 

Spc. Jill Stevens takes her turn as tail gunner on a military aircraft in Afghanistan in 2004.

Photo courtesy of Spc. Jill Stevens

Spc. Jill Stevens takes her turn as tail gunner

on a military aircraft in Afghanistan in 2004.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spc. Stevens visits with Halima after the girl underwent corrective eye surgery in 2004.

Photo courtesy of Spc. Jill Stevens

Spc. Stevens visits with Halima after the girl

 underwent corrective eye surgery in 2004.

Jill Stevens performs a comedy monologue as part of the 2006 Miss SUU Pageant where she finished first.

Photo courtesy of Spc. Jill Stevens

Jill Stevens performs a comedy monologue as part of the

2006 Miss SUU Pageant where she finished first .