A Marine veteran-turned-model-turned-fashion designer is once again blowing up social media, this time with her patriotic, pinup-inspired pics.
U.S. Marine Sgt. Rianna Conner, known as the “Combat Barbie,” joined the military in 2011 right after she graduated high school. The California-born bombshell said she was the first person in her family to go into the military.
“In my immediate family I’m the first to leave my hometown, first to join the military, and now the first to attend college at a university,” she said in an interview with Jam Press.
As soon as Conner joined, she said she earned the “Combat Barbie” title and it just stuck.
“I was given my nickname from the Marines I first served in 2011, because of the fact that I was so girly and loved to show my femininity,” she said in the interview. “The nickname stuck with me throughout my military career and after.”
Conner served with the Marines for seven years — and traveled all around from San Diego, Calif., to Parris Island, S.C., and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2012.
The young woman was ready for the challenges of the military, though, as she described growing up spending her weeknights and weekends working on her family’s farm in Kerman – a small town outside of Fresno in California’s Central Valley – and doing “back-breaking labor to produce [their] family crop.”
“Growing up the way I did forever instilled a great work ethic and burning ambition in my soul. While in high school I won the award for ‘Most Inspirational Senior,’ which I attribute to the great life lessons from my family.”
After spending just shy of a decade in the service and earning awards such as the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Conner left to pursue other avenues. She is currently getting her bachelors from the University of North Dakota, she told Jam Press.
However, the veteran also wanted to pursue a modeling career.
Since leaving the service, Conner has posed for Maxim, FHM and over 40 other publications, according to her Instagram page — and recently teamed up with photographer Robert Alvarado to create a pinup-inspired series of patriotic friendly shots.
The photo shoot seems to have been a hit with her fans, earning thousands of likes on each picture.
“My mission as ‘The Combat Barbie’ is to show the world that it is possible to be yourself and achieve all of your dreams,” the model said.
Conner also started her own clothing company line, Combat Barbie Clothing, for “beautiful and bada--“ women and men to spread positivity and patriotism — attitudes she hopes to share with everyone.
“Your success in life doesn’t depend on the cards you were dealt, how you grew up, the people who doubt you, or the difficult situations you face,” she said. “Your success solely depends on your personal determination to achieve.”