Miss Colorado Talks Being an Active Military Member and Activist

by Liz Holland

Miss Colorado has her eyes set on goals bigger than the Miss America crown. Spc. Maura Spence-Carroll serves as an active duty service member at Fort Carson army base, just south of Colorado Springs, CO. At age 35, she works as an all-source intelligence analyst in the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th infantry division. 

While Miss Alaska, Emma Broyles, ultimately took the Miss America Title. However, Maura says she has plenty she wants to accomplish in the 6 remaining months she has with the crown. Making history, Maura is the first soldier to win the title of Miss Colorado. Had she won the 2021 Miss America pageant, she would have been the first active-duty soldier to do so. Spence-Carroll told 5280 Magazine, “My responsibility as a soldier comes first. We’re soldiers 24/7, but thankfully, we do get time off throughout the day just like any civilian job.”

Miss Colorado Speaks Up About Military Mental Health

Spence-Carroll has a passion for speaking up about mental health, especially among fellow soldiers. She’s involved with a nonprofit group, “22 Too Many: Ending the Epidemic of Military and Veteran Suicide”. The group’s mission is to reduce veteran suicides down to zero and to support families of service members who decided to take their own life. A portion of the organization’s about page reads, “Service members are not the only ones suffering. Families of the fallen are left overwhelmed from complicated grief long after the loss of a loved one. We will support these families by honoring and remembering their loved one and providing them with event memorabilia. We will network grieving families and loved ones of the fallen who can help and support each other throughout the grieving process as well as share with them valuable resources to help heal.”

You can learn further information about the nonprofit here.

Enacting Positive Change is Her Mission

As Spence-Carroll packed her bags to begin her Miss America adventure, she shared an Instagram post detailing her excitement. “I’m ready to show this country what it looks like to refuse to give up on any of your dreams,” she wrote. “Active duty soldier, intelligence analyst, advocate, titleholder, trailblazer, leader — I’m proud of every piece of the patchwork that makes up the woman I am.”

Upon her return, Spence-Carroll met with Maj. Gen. M. David Hodne, the Commanding General of the 4th Infantry Division. Spence-Carroll shared details of the meeting on her social media.

Carroll writes, “He asked me about the competition itself as well as my takeaways, and I was able to share a broad outline of the plans I have for the next 6 months as Miss Colorado to bring an end to suicide within our force. I was honored to be awarded his personal coin, as well as a copy of ‘The Hero’s Code’ to utilize as I promote from junior enlisted soldier to non-commissioned officer.”