Caribbean Fever - Your ONLY destination to all things Caribbean and more
Rachel Washburn has worn both camouflage and Vera Wang-designed two pieces in her two very different careers.
Before the 25-year-old First Lieutenant joined the Army, she was a cheerleader for the Philadelphia Eagles.
After two tours of duty in Afghanistan, the team decided to honor her as one of their 'Hometown Heros' in Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears.
The two lives of Rachel Washburn: Before joining the Army after college, Lt Washburn was a cheerleader for the Philadelphia Eagles football team. They honored her as one of their hometown heroes at Sunday's game against the Bears
Pre-deployment: Lt Washburn (center) served as an Eagles cheerleader for four years while she attended Drexel University on an ROTC scholarship
'Rachel really is the epitome of an American hero,' Barbara Zaun, the Eagles director of cheerleading, told the team's website, adding that she looks forward to getting the opportunity to acknowledge her bravery and service. 'It will be very special for me to see her honored as our Hometown Hero after working so closely with her during her time as a cheerleader.'
It comes as an immense honor for Lt Washburn, who moved twelve times growing up as a military brat, and didn't settle in Philadelphia until college when she accepted an ROTC scholarship to attend Drexel University.
In addition to her army training at Drexel, Lt Washburn decided to continue her passion for gymnastics on the dance team. When one of her dance team mates made the Philadelphia Eagles team, she decided to try out as well and made the team on first try.
American hero: Lt Washburn has served two tours of duty in Afghanistan on the Army's Cultural Support Team
Girl power: Lt Washburn's role in the Army has been to communicate with local women during Special Operations missions, looking out for their safety and that of their children
Wonder woman: On one mission, Lt Washburn delivered a baby during a snowstorm with the help of medics over the radio
During her four years in college, she watched tamer battles wage on Lincoln Financial Field but eventually traded her pom poms for an assault rifle after graduation.
During her two deployments in Afghanistan, Lt Washburn served on the Army's Cultural Support Team.
Lt Washburn explains that this group was created to help Special Operations troops who aren't allowed to engage with the local female population. Female soldiers are recruited to look out for the safety of the local women and children during these missions.
Decorated: In her three years in the military Lt Washburn has received the Bronze Star Medal; the ARmy Commendation Medal; and the Combat, Airborne, and Air Assault badges
While it's certainly a lot different than memorizing cheers and choreography, Ms Washburn says her time with the Philadelphia Eagles translated in many ways to the battlefield.
Off the field, Ms Washburn acted as a representative of the Eagles team on visits to hospitals, and even a USO trip to Iraq to cheer up soldiers.
'We're all beautiful women who are there to be entertaining at games, but also, we are incredibly involved in the community, which is something that I am incredibly proud of, and I'm sure that all of the other girls feel the same way. I'm really proud of the Eagles organization putting us out there in that sort of capacity.'
Once a cheerleader, always a cheerleader: She hasn't forgotten her days on the Eagles team and says that whenever she goes to her happy place, she thinks of her first game
One of the ways she helped Afghani women was by delivering a baby during a snowstorm, getting instructions from medics over radio.
In her three years in the military, Ms Washburn has already earned the Bronze Star Medal; Army Commendation Medal; and the Combat, Airborne and Air Assault badges.
But she says she's never forgotten her time on the football field.
During mental toughness training in the military, Lt Washburn was told to think of a happy moment in order to keep calm during a stressful situation.
'My happy place just so happened to be what I remember my first game being like. We lined up in the end zones for the pre-game dance, and I just remember it being a beautiful August day, so that memory has always stuck with me,' she said.
Lt Washburn is currently stationed at Fort Stewart in Georgia as a platoon leader.