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Quartermaster Soldier reigns with triple crown of Nevada beauty pageants
Lt. Col. Terry Conder - Joint Force Headquarters Public Affairs
LAS VEGAS – In the arena of Nevada beauty pageants, Sgt. Aileen Buri holds the triple crown.
After claiming the Miss Las Vegas and Miss Nevada State titles within the past year, Buri won the Little Miss Nevada Talent Supreme contest here in March to add a third jewel to her pageant tiara.
“It’s great to show people another aspect of military service members,” said Buri, a water treatment sergeant in the 100th Quartermaster Company headquartered here.
Buri, 29, began competing in beauty pageants just last year. She’s been in the Nevada Army Guard four years.
“I enjoy performing community service and raising money for charities,” she said. “I discovered that when you show up at a casino wearing a sash and a crown, people are more willing to give.”
Buri said being a Soldier in the Nevada Guard has contributed to her success in the pageants.
“Competing in a pageant is competitive, just like much of what we do in the Army,” she said. “I learned in basic training to always finish what I start. I also learned how to prepare myself mentally and physically. I find myself doing the same things getting ready for a pageant.
“Being in the Guard has taught me I can do so much more than what I initially believed I could do.”
Buri won the crown in the Little Miss Nevada Talent Supreme based on her results in three portions of the event including evening gown, talent, and open-choice competitions.
“I performed a Tahitian dance for the talent section and for open choice I did a salute to the military by wearing a 1950s style Class A uniform,” she said.
In her civilian occupation, Buri is an assistant hotel manager at the Vdara Hotel and Spa.
“I love being in the Guard and I love my unit,” Buri said. “We have especially good leadership – they take good care of us.”
Buri has two years remaining on her enlistment and she hopes to achieve the rank of staff sergeant soon. As she approaches the end of her enlistment, Buri said the feeling is “bittersweet.”
“A lot of people say they can’t wait to get out, but when the time comes, they almost always reenlist,” Buri said. “There’s nothing like being in the Guard. There’s nothing like going to drill and feeling the pride associated with wearing your uniform.
“I believe if I reenlist I’d like to try to become an officer.”
Buri said she’s likely “done for now” in regard to beauty pageants.
“But after I get married, I think I’d like to try for Mrs. America,” she quickly added.