Military Wiki
Rachel Washburn
A bust photo of a white woman with brown hair; she is wearing a grey, camouflage US Army uniform and smiling into the camera
Cadet Washburn in 2009
Born 1987/1988 (age 32–33)
Education BA, Drexel U. (2010)
Employer Philadelphia Eagles
Military career
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 2010–2016
Rank First lieutenant

Rachel Washburn (born 1987 or 1988) is a former United States Army officer and former cheerleader for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Personal life[]

The daughter of Lon Washburn, Rachel Washburn is a military brat;[1] she endured at least twelve moves while her father flew helicopters for the US Army and fighter aircraft for the US Air Force. By 2013, though, she called Philadelphia home.[2] In October 2019, Washburn was married to an active-duty soldier assigned to the United States Army Special Forces.[3]

Advised by her father to accept an Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship to Ohio State University, Washburn instead accepted a "lucrative " Army ROTC scholarship to Philadelphia's Drexel University.[2] In autumn 2006, she enrolled at Drexel U. to pursue her Bachelor of Arts in history.[4] Cadet Washburn participated in 2009's Army-sponsored All-American Bowl in San Antonio alongside Secretary of the Army Pete Geren and Sergeant Major of the Army Kenneth Preston.[5]


With a childhood background in gymnastics,[6] inspired by her friend who cheered for the Philadelphia 76ers, and with an interest in American football, Washburn was accepted by the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders in spring 2007,[4] despite having zero experience in the sport. She worked for the team for three seasons (2007–08, 08–09, and 09–10).[6] As a cheerleader for the Eagles, Washburn joined the team on a goodwill tour of Iraq and Kuwait; this reignited her passion for ROTC and military service.[4]

US Army[]

Washburn joined the United States Army in 2010.[7] After her commissioning as a second lieutenant, Washburn received paratrooper and intelligence training, and would be primarily tasked with the latter. Prior to her first deployments to Afghanistan, Washburn was trained as a cultural support team (CST) member: a female soldier attached to a special operations unit to liaise with Afghan women. Washburn wore a headscarf when working with local women, and even subbed for a midwife when she helped deliver an Afghan woman's baby. Washburn and other CST members were the first members of the program, and have considered writing a book on the topic.[4]

On her second Afghan deployment (ended 17 November 2013), Washburn led an intelligence platoon. As of December 2013, First Lieutenant Washburn had received a Bronze Star Medal, an Army Commendation Medal, a Combat Action Badge, and an Air Assault Badge. Then-stationed at Fort Stewart, she had a year left committed to the Army, and was considering staying for a few more.[4] Washburn left the Army in 2016.[3]

Civilian career[]

After working with a non-governmental relief organization as a regional director, Washburn was hired by the broker-dealer, Academy Securities, in 2017.[7] As of October 2019, she was still with the veteran-run company, applying her military intelligence skills to in the world of business. Academy Securities president Phil McConkey said of Washburn, "Rachel leads 13 admirals and generals as a junior officer. She's in charge, and she organizes all these great resources."[3]


  1. Almasy, Steve (2013-12-23). "Eagles honor cheerleader turned soldier" (in en). CNN. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Smith, Alex (2013-12-22). "Rachel Washburn: An American Hero" (in en). Philadelphia Eagles. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Shiff, Blair (2019-10-09). "NFL legend's investment firm hires veterans, helps them 'get a leg up'" (in en). Fox Business. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Mihoces, Gary (2013-12-19). "Former Eagles cheerleader now stars for Army" (in en). USA Today. ISSN 0734-7456. 
  5. CPT Peck, Jim (2009-01-09). "Eagles cheerleader, Army ROTC Cadet attends All-American Bowl" (in en). San Antonio: United States Army. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Weigle, Lauren (2013-12-22). "Rachel Washburn, Cheerleader Turned Soldier: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know" (in en). 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Boyd, Michael (2017-10-18). "Academy Securities Adds Rachel Washburn to Its Geopolitical Strategy Team" (in en). New York City: Business Wire. 

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