NFL cheerleaders are often stereotyped as ditzy, good looking blondes with a low IQ, but Rachel Washburn singlehandedly changed perceptions and opinions of the dancers. Similarly to many other freshmen in college, Rachel was looking for different avenues to express herself and take part in extracurricular activities. Washburn was a gymnast as a child and decided to sign up to the dance team. However, when one of her friends landed a spot on the Philadelphia Eagles cheer squad, Rachel decided to try out. After all, the young student had nothing to lose.
To her surprise, she made the squad, but unlike many of her fellow squad members, she did not have a passion for the sport, nor had she ever had any cheer experience in her life. Instead, Rachel had a very different upbringing. Rachel was used to moving around the country and never being able to call one city home. This was due to her father’s occupation, he was a pilot in the U.S Air Force, and a high ranking one at that. Growing up in a military family had a profound effect on young Rachel and she couldn’t help but feel inspired and incredibly proud of her father’s dedication and commitment to his country.
Rachel had considered enlisting for the Army but her option became a reality when she was awarded a scholarship with the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. However her first experiences with the Army actually came from cheerleading as her squad traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan with the USO. It was this event together with her scholarship that Rachel knew she wanted to join the Army. Despite her father being a retired serviceman, he was nervous for his daughter.
Would Rachel be able to handle the pressure and grueling training, or would she find herself back in Philadelphia cheering on the Eagles?