There she is … Miss America on the American Legion podcast

Air Force 2nd Lt. Madison Marsh is quite accomplished, obtaining her pilot’s license at age 16, receiving a black belt in taekwondo, earning a degree in astrophysics and completing a NASA internship. 

Marsh is also the first active-duty military officer to win the Miss America crown. She is the special guest on this week’s American Legion Tango Alpha Lima podcast where she talks about her motivation to join the military as a way to fulfill her childhood dream to become an astronaut. (Help us grow the podcast to reach even more veterans. Here's how.)

“How do I become something like that?” she wondered. “Once I took a step back, I realized that the (military) academies were an amazing place to get those pilot slots, get an amazing education and also lessen the burden of having to pay for school. That was such a big part for me, really just setting myself up for the future.”

Her career plans have changed but her support for military careers has not. “There are so many positives that the military has given me that I would not have gotten elsewhere.”

In addition to her time in the service, Marsh also talks about her role as Miss America, what’s ahead for her and more. 

So, what does she see for her future? Among the priorities is supporting pancreatic cancer research. Her mother died of the disease when Marsh was 17.

“There is not enough being done,” she said. “There is more research that needs to be done. We need more money being poured into the pancreatic cancer sector. We have to do more work.” 

On the lighter side, Marsh is an avid reader, now focusing on thriller and fantasy books but open to any genres. She likes “stories that can help me disconnect from reality.” 

Stay tuned for the final segment where co-hosts Stacy Pearsall, Joe Worley and Adam Marr:

• Review a Supreme Court ruling related to GI Bill benefits.

• Give a shoutout to an NFL player who takes pride in his Navy Reserve job.

• Recap the recent discovery and identification of a pilot missing since 1967. 

Check out this week’s episode, which is among more than 240 Tango Alpha Lima podcasts available in both audio and video formats here. You can also download episodes on Apple Podcasts, Google Play or other major podcast-hosting sites. The video version is available at the Legion’s YouTube channel.