Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class John Curtis
As the daughter of a dentist, and as one herself, Lt. Corinne Devin, Orthodontist, U.S. Naval Hospital (USNH) Yokosuka knows how important it is to take care of your teeth.
Her father served 20 years as a Navy dentist before continuing his career in the civilian community. Devin followed in his footsteps and has made proper Oral Hygiene a priority since very early in life.
In fact, as the reigning Ms. United States, Devin has redefined the term winning smile.
“I got involved in pageants my second year of dental school as a complete dare from one of my classmates,” said Devin. “A classmate told me she had watched the Miss USA pageant the night before and the runner-up was a dental student.”
Devin’s classmate urged her to try her own hand at pageants, but Devin was hesitant. That is until another classmate voiced his opinion on the matter.
“He told me that I could never compete in pageants, and even if I did I wouldn’t be any good at it,” said Devin.
That was all the motivation Devin needed. She decided right then and there she was going to compete in a pageant.
It turned out to be a good decision. In her very first pageant, Devin was awarded the runner-up spot in the 2007 Miss Nevada competition.
“I think my first competition was one of my easiest ones,” said Devin. “You don’t know anything, so ignorance in this case was truly bliss,” she laughed.
Devin said that a lot of the tactics she employs during her pageants come from her military training.
Both the military and pageants include aspects of camaraderie, service and tradition, said Devin. Also, in both require putting your best foot forward because you are representing more than just yourself.
“Look at service members here in Japan, we are ambassadors,” said Devin. That is no different than what you do in pageantry. During a pageant you could be representing a region, state or country, and that coincides a lot with what we do in the military.”
Devin has been able to take skills she has learned as a Sailor and use them toward making her a better-rounded competitor.
“Something that is very universal in the military is you have to be able to walk in a room and keep someone’s attention and be memorable to that person,” said Devin. “Meaning that during pageants when you leave the room, when the next 50 or 60 people come in after you, they have to remember you. So that is a great skill to have.”
During the past six years Devin has won many pageant titles including two state titles and three national titles. In July, she will hand over her Miss United States crown and focus her energy on the next step in her pageant career: Miss Galaxy.
“You learn to make time for what’s important, and this is something that is important and dear to me,” said Devin.
However, in order to balance her military and pageant life, Devin has to maintain a rigorous schedule, which most days has her up before 4 a.m. But Devin said she loves her job and doesn’t mind the long hours.
“I’m making people smile,” said Devin. “And that makes me smile.”
And her smile – is award winning.