ROTC cadet earns spot in Miss Ohio pageant


Air Force ROTC cadet Allison Vance has been selected to compete in the Miss Ohio pageant.

Mary Booth

After receiving the title of Miss Cuyahoga County, cadet Allison Vance will compete in the Miss Ohio Pageant on Saturday, June 21. Vance has participated in pageants since her senior year of high school and they have continued to be a very important part of her life.  

Vance is a sophomore nutrition major at Kent State and has been involved in the Air Force ROTC program for nearly two years.

She said the Miss Ohio Pageant is about improving the confidence of young women and encouraging them to be the best they can be. The transformation the pageant makes in women, she said, is remarkable.

“Looking back on myself at my first pageant, I was a completely different person. But I have only changed for the better,” Vance said. “I have a more positive outlook on life, I want to help more, serve my community more. My transformation alone was fantastic.”

Although Vance is very passionate about pageant life, she always knew that somehow she was going to get involved with the military. She joined the Air Force ROTC during her freshman year.

From an outside perspective it might seem that Pageant life and ROTC are very different. Vance disagrees.

“As a title holder, I am a role model for people and I am in a leadership position,” she said. “The same thing goes for officers. You have to always be putting your best foot forward because people are watching you constantly.”

Vance said there are a lot of similarities between the two programs.

“Everything ties in well,” she said. “The speaking, the fitness, the overall mental health. Both programs require a lot of the same attributes.”

Captain Christopher Deaver, Operations Flight Commander for the Air Force ROTC and assistant professor of Aerospace Science, said he is not concerned with having a cadet in a pageant like Miss Ohio.

“I don’t know if it’s going to help her further her Air Force career,” Deaver said. “But I don’t have any problem with it.”

Deaver said there have been similar situations where woman in the military got involved in pageant life.

“There was a Seattle Seahawks cheerleader who was a lieutenant in the Air Force and an Army officer that was doing the Miss America Pageant,” he said. “And I don’t think any issues arose from their involvement.”

Deaver said that as long as it doesn’t get in the way of becoming an officer in the Air Force, Vance should continue participating in pageants.

Junior pre-medicine major and a cadet in the Air Force ROTC Michelle Porter has known Vance for two years. As a fellow cadet, Porter is very supportive of Vance and her involvement in both programs. She said that being a pageant participant has definitely benefited Vance on her journey through ROTC.

“The pageants have helped her become the person she is,” Porter said. “They’ve helped her become more used to community service and really wanting to give back in general, whether it’s to her community or country. I think being in both programs is a good fit for her.”

Although Porter is completely supportive of Vance and her involvement with the Miss Ohio Pageant, she still believes that the Air Force ROTC suits Vance best.

“I get to see her more in ROTC so I know how good of a fit that is for her. I can see how much she wants it and how much she’s grown as a leader,” Porter said. “So seeing her as she is in ROTC, I don’t think I can picture her being anything else besides an officer.”

For more information about the Miss Ohio Pageant website.

Contact Mary Booth at [email protected]