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Rachel Washburn- The Kickass Cheerleader Who Traded Pom Poms For Camo

Rachel Washburn- The Kickass Cheerleader Who Traded Pom Poms For Camo
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When a cheerleader living a comfortable life in Philadelphia becomes a soldier, it sure is some news. Even more so when she clenches her jaws and stands through the snow storms in Afghanistan to help the people there and relate to them while living in a mud-hut in a remote village.

Here is the inspiring and amazing story of Rachel Washburn, cheerleader-turned-soldier, who recently said, "Nothing motivates me more than being an example of what motivated females can be in the military. I just hope the military continues to progress and that skilled individuals get the opportunities available to them.” We think this braveheart deserves some recognition. 

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Rachel Washburn was a Philadelphia Eagles cheerleader for three years after which she decided to trade her pom-poms for camo, and joined the U.S. Army.

Rachel Washburn was a Philadelphia Eagles cheerleader for three years after which she decided to trade her pom-poms for camo, and joined the U.S. Army.

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USA Today did an amazing profile of the 25-year-old girl following her second tour in Afghanistan.

USA Today did an amazing profile of the 25-year-old girl following her second tour in Afghanistan.
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Of course Rachel's decision to join the army wasn't on a whim. While cheer-leading for the Eagles for three seasons, she was an Army ROTC student and history major at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

Of course Rachel's decision to join the army wasn't on a whim. While cheer-leading for the Eagles for three seasons, she was an Army ROTC student and history major at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
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Her father was an Army helicopter pilot and an Air Force fighter pilot. Shifting the home at different places for the family was therefore very common and Rachel says she'd moved 17 or 18 times while growing up. Yet she calls Philadelphia her home where she only attended her college.

Her father was an Army helicopter pilot and an Air Force fighter pilot. Shifting the home at different places for the family was therefore very common and Rachel says she'd moved 17 or 18 times while growing up. Yet she calls Philadelphia her home where she only attended her college.
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During her freshman year at Drexel in 2006, Rachel tried for the Eagles' squad and made it. She cheered for the team from 2007 to 2009.

During her freshman year at Drexel in 2006, Rachel tried for the Eagles' squad and made it. She cheered for the team from 2007 to 2009.
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In 2008, she went on a military goodwill tour with the cheerleaders to Iraq and Kuwait. According to Rachel, 'It was kind of what re-lit the fire and my passion for the military.'

In 2008, she went on a military goodwill tour with the cheerleaders to Iraq and Kuwait. According to Rachel, 'It was kind of what re-lit the fire and my passion for the military.'
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After graduating, Rachel was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in the Army (she's now a 1st lieutenant stationed in Fort Stewart, Ga.). Although, she also went through paratrooper training, her role was military intelligence.

After graduating, Rachel was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in the Army (she’s now a 1st lieutenant stationed in Fort Stewart, Ga.). Although, she also went through paratrooper training, her role was military intelligence.
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Before her first eight-month tour in Afghanistan in 2011-12, she was a part of a new "Cultural Support Team" program that aimed at attaching women to special ops units to relate to Afghan women.

Before her first eight-month tour in Afghanistan in 2011-12, she was a part of a new “Cultural Support Team” program that aimed at attaching women to special ops units to relate to Afghan women.
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Rachel always wore a hijab or a head-scarf while in Afghanistan. This made the women in the region trust her and they could relate to her in a better manner.

Rachel always wore a hijab or a head-scarf while in Afghanistan. This made the women in the region trust her and they could relate to her in a better manner.
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Rachel also helped an Afghan woman deliver her baby in the middle of a snowstorm, when the mid-wife was not available. On an Army radio, a special ops medic helped them deliver the baby.

Rachel also helped an Afghan woman deliver her baby in the middle of a snowstorm, when the mid-wife was not available. On an Army radio, a special ops medic helped them deliver the baby.
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Rachel's military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Combat Action Badge, Airborne Badge and Air Assault Badge.

Rachel's military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Combat Action Badge, Airborne Badge and Air Assault Badge.
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After returning from her second visit to Afghanistan, Rachel Washburn, 25, was honored as a 'Hometown Hero' by the Philadelphia Eagles.

After returning from her second visit to Afghanistan, Rachel Washburn, 25, was honored as a 'Hometown Hero' by the Philadelphia Eagles.
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