URI ROTC cadet marches to Miss USA contest
N. Kingstown beauty wins Miss Rhode Island/USA title
KINGSTON, R.I. -- October 26, 2004 -- University of Rhode Island student Allison Paganetti can shoot, rappel, and strut. The 2005 newly named Miss Rhode Island USA will compete in the Miss USA contest next April. A kinesiology (exercise science) major, Paganetti is also a cadet in the Army Reserve Officers Training Program (ROTC) at URI. She’s as comfortable wearing a crown as she is carrying a rifle.
“Everyone at ROTC has been incredibly supportive. A few of the cadets even came to the (Rhode Island) pageant,” says the 20-year-old cadet who was chosen over 40 other contestants to represent the Ocean State.
“My ROTC training has taught me to be determined, to set goals, and not to hold anything back. I bring that with me wherever I go, whether I’m preparing for a pageant, in class or at field training.”
Becoming a cadet seemed a natural step to Paganetti whose grandfathers served in the armed forces. By the end of this year, she will have to pick a ROTC specialty and is leaning toward the medical corps because it’s closet to her major.
The North Kingstown resident has competed in pageants since she was in sixth grade. Since she was a tomboy, she entered her first contest on a lark. When she was a finalist, she decided to enter more contests. Since then she has worn many crowns, including Miss U.S. Model’s tiara last year.
“All the hard work has paid off,” she says of her recent Miss Rhode Island/USA title. As Miss Rhode Island/USA, she is currently engaged in charity and publicity work for numerous non-profit Rhode Island organizations. She is also preparing for the Miss USA pageant, which will be held in Baltimore. Donald Trump and NBC are its sponsors. A pageant consultant and a personal trainer are preparing her head to toe for the high-profile pageant.
“This is my retirement pageant,” says the URI student who will be commissioned a second lieutenant when she graduates in a year and a half. Like her fellow cadets, she is concerned about the situation in Iraq. “We’ll either be dealing with its aftermath or will be there ourselves,” says the beauty queen.