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Former NFL cheerleader now cheers for the Army

Former NFL cheerleader now cheers for the Army
Former NFL cheerleader now cheers for the Army
R. Washburn/released to media

Army intelligence officer 1st Lt. Rachel Washburn, former cheerleader for the National Football League's Philadelphia Eagles is now home from her second overseas deployment.

As a student at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Rachel Washburn was a history major and member of the ROTC, so even in college she was pretty sure there was a military deployment in her near future.

Trading in her cheerleading boots for combat boots, she went to Afghanistan with a Special Ops combat unit where she worked with local women in roles that would be culturally unacceptable for her male counterparts. She was there to assist with the delivery of an Afghan baby who decided to take its first breath in a middle of a snowstorm.

Military service runs deep in the Washburn family; Rachel’s dad was not only an Army helicopter pilot but an Air Force fighter-jet pilot. She can count at least 17 moves with her military family as she was growing up.

Besides her two military deployments, Washburn, 25, made one "goodwill tour" to Iraq and Kuwait with other cheerleaders in 2008.

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