Model Mayhem

With her striking good looks and her veteran bona fides, Miss Lauren Young has quickly become an internet sensation. This former Army MP's relentless patriotism made her a perfect fit for Nine Line Apparel.


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Lauren Young is not your typical Instagram sensation. You won’t find any hair and makeup tips, no heavily filtered shots of her striking a yoga pose on some far-flung beach. Instead, you’ll find photos of her staring down the scope of an M40, replacing the bolts in AR, and tearing down a shooting course with a Glock, all while looking fabulous.

But the stunning array of firearms are more than just accessories—Young is no gun bunny. An Army veteran who spent time in Afghanistan with some of the worst terrorists in the world, she’s blowing up Instagram with a unique blend of beauty and veteran bona fies.

South Magazine:You studied pre-law as well as psychology at University of Nevada, Reno. As someone well versed in psychology, what’s the psychology behind the attraction to beautiful women and guns?
Lauren Young: When people see an attractive girl holding a gun that’s never really a combination you usually think of… and it’s different. There’s this attraction where you say, “OK, I was wrong about you. I see this attractive girl and she can shoot a gun.” The context of those two things and being wrong in your assumptions makes it more intriguing and therefore more attractive.

SM; And then you find out she’s pre-law and served in the military…
LY: Yes! Even when I do tell people I was in the military, they’re like “Oh, Air Force?” No. “Oh, medic?” That’s what they always assume. 

SM: How did the Instagram thing start for you?
LY: It was definitely not something I ever thought in a million years would ever be a possibility for me… My focus was on going into law school, then going on to be a J.A.G. officer. Then I get an email from a local photographer named Ben Davis who owns Battle Born Photography in Reno. He’s been taking pictures for a really long time and he likes concept photo shoots. He asked me if I wanted to do a photo shoot inspired by the video game The Division. I love video games, so I was like “Absolutely.” He wasn’t getting paid, I wasn’t getting paid. It was just for fun. 
He posted them on his Instagram page, which wasn’t huge at the time, but the gun community had already been tracking his photography. He posted his photos of me and they just kind of exploded. They were shared all over the place. I even saw them on Tom Clancy’s the State of the Game. 
They kept getting shared and more people started following me and as they followed me they found out, “OK, this girl’s in the Army. This girl enjoys firearms. Holy cow..” All these people came out of nowhere and started paying attention to what I do in my life. And it snowballed, and here we are.

SM:  And along the way you caught the attention of Nine Line Apparel?
I met Danny (Merritt, co-owner of Nine Line Apparel) at Show Show last year. I had been friends with Graham Allen who also works with them. He introduced me to them and it segued into them asking how I feel about their brand. I obviously felt very positively because we have the same views. We started working together and it’s been awesome. I moved to Savannah from Reno to be a little closer and have been helping get the brand out and they’ve been helping me—it’s been a good relationship.

SM: Part of your appeal is your authenticity as a veteran. Can you tell us a little bit about your time in the Army?
LY:  I enlisted as Military Police and was in for eight years in the 485th MP company. I worked on Camp Sabalu-Harrison, a detention facility for a year while I was deployed. I basically babysat terrorists for a year and helped train the Afghan National Army on how to perform their duties as detention officers. The most difficult aspect was me being a female, between the detainees and the ANA themselves. It was difficult initially to get them to pay attention to me. I definitely had to be more assertive and aggressive than anyone else to get anything done. 
We had an international incident occur with the burning of the Qurans. That was a huge thing—that actually happened at our camp. It was seen and the news spread all through Afghanistan, so everyone was on edge. We were worried about blue on green crime—ANA attacking coalition forces. That was the more intense part of the employment. We thought they weren’t even going to show up to work. 

Want to learn more about Lauren? Subscribe now to receive instant access to the digital edition of South, or pick up your copy of the 2018 Travel & Adventure Issue. 

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South's Greatest Moms Contest 2018

We're looking for the greatest, most authentic and sincere, southern moms. Taking nominations November 1st!

South's Greatest Photographers 2018

We're looking for the greatest, most creative photographers. If that is you, or you know of any, don't hesitate to nominate!
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Events Calendar

  • Designer's Showcase: Dressed for the Season

    Nov 12, 2018
    11:00 AM - 3:00 PM @ Kaminski House Museum

    The Kaminski House Museum in historic Georgetown, South Carolina will be dressing the rooms of the Kaminski House Museum this holiday season with...

  • Tybee Marsh Treks

    Sep 01, 2018
    4:00 PM - 5:00 PM @ Tybee Island Marine Science Center

    On a marsh trek, you’ll enjoy a hands-on exploration of Georgia’s salt marsh, searching the mud for fiddler crabs, snails, and more. Learn...

  • Capture a ‘paw‑fect’ pic

    Nov 19, 2018
    5:00 PM - 8:00 PM @ Oglethorpe Mall

    Bring your furry friends in for a pic with Santa, because pets are family too! Capture a special moment with your dog or cat to cherish for years...

  • Bonaventure Cemetery: After Hours Stories Eternal

    Nov 17, 2018
    5:00 PM - 8:00 PM @ Bonaventure Cemetery

    Savannah's only after hours cemetery tour awaits! Few places are more invoking of Easter and life's great questions and mysteries than that...

  • Lights of the South

    Nov 16, 2018
    5:30 PM - 10:00 PM

  • Holiday Gospel Dinner Entertainment Cruise

    Dec 03, 2018
    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Savannah Riverboat Cruises

    Back by popular demand! Experience local Holiday Gospel entertainment and enjoy the savory flavors of the South! Don't miss out on this spectacular...

  • Rock N Roll Karaoke at Dos Gatos

    Nov 26, 2018
    9:00 PM - 11:00 PM @ Dos Gatos

    Rock N' Roll Karaoke with DJ Randall! Be a rockstar or just point and laugh! From 9pm. The best Monday night party in Jax for sure!

  • Toddler Touch Tanks

    Dec 06, 2018
    All Day @ UGA Marine Education Center and Aquarium

    Explore the coast with your child in a unique setting perfect for inspiring wonder and curiosity! During select Thursdays in January and December,...

  • License to Chill Snow Island

    Nov 16, 2018
    All Day @ Margaritaville at Lanier Islands

    Margaritaville at Lanier Islands is preparing for a winter wonderland makeover that will surprise and delight local residents and travelers...

  • Skatefest

    Dec 07, 2018
    All Day @ Savannah Civic Center

  • FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS AND WINDOW WONDERLAND

    Dec 01, 2018
    All Day @ Historic Downtown Brunswick

    Celebrate the holidays with festive lights and decorations, including creative displays in downtown windows and storefronts! Decorations will be up...

  • Greenbriar Children's Center Toy Drive with the SMC Partners

    Dec 04, 2018
    All Day

    Savannah businesses are uniting to assist a local nonprofit for the holidays! From December 4–17, the Savannah Master Calendar Partners...

  • 2018 National Gingerbread House Competition™ Display

    Nov 25, 2018
    All Day

    What started as a small group of gingerbread houses built by community members in 1992 has evolved into one of our most treasured traditions at The...

  • Santa's Wonderland

    Nov 14, 2018
    All Day @ Bass Pro Shops

    The magic returns to Bass Pro Shops and Savannah-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas village offering FREE 4x6...

  • Visit Savannah Tour and Travel Holiday Social

    Dec 11, 2018
    5:00 PM - 7:00 PM @ The Chart House

    In lieu of our monthly Tour & Travel meeting, we will host our Holiday Social. We look forward to seeing you there as we salute another great...

  • Savannah Wedding Vendors Annual Holiday Party

    Dec 11, 2018
    5:30 PM - 7:30 PM @ DeSoto Savannah

    Bring the family to SWV Annual Holiday Party! We always have lots of fun! Face painting with Alyson Harris with Glitterboxx...

  • Lean Ensemble Theater presents Bad Dates by Theresa Rebeck

    Dec 12, 2018
    7:30 PM - 9:30 PM @ HHPS Main Street Theatre

    Confessions of a single mother and self-described restaurant idiot-savant abound in this thoroughly charming, intoxicating and slyly sweet...

  • 212th Annual Meeting Savannah Chamber of Commerce

    Dec 13, 2018
    12:30 PM - 1:30 PM @ The Westin

    At the 212th Annual Meeting, the Chamber will reflect on 2018 accomplishments and review its 2019 program of work. It will also recognize 2018...

  • Holiday Fiesta and Tommy Agave Release

    Dec 13, 2018
    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Ghost Coast Distillery

    An old friend is coming back for the Holidays! Join Ghost Coast Distillery at our Holiday Fiesta as we celebrate the winter release of...

  • Little Women the Musical

    Dec 13, 2018
    All Day @ The Savannah Rep PLAYShop

    This all-new musical, based upon Louisa May Alcott’s beloved 19th century novel, vividly brings to life the March family of Concord,...


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Scenes of the South

Beaujolais Nouveau Day 2018

Savannah's 39 Rue De Jean celebrated Beaujolais Nouveau Day, the official end of this year’s growing season. Harvest is complete and vintners—especially in France—are ready to celebrate the completion of the harvest. Beaujolais Nouveau is a red wine that is annually released on the third Thursday in November. Nouveau wine undergoes a very short fermentation process, and yields an extremely fresh and fruity wine.

A Chefs Collaborative

This five course dinner held at Pacci Italian Kitchen and Bar allowed guests to taste exceptional flavors steeped in tradition. Included were the culinary skills of Chef Adam Barnett of The Katharine Brasserie & Bar, Winston-Salem, NC, Chef Robert Hoffman of Angeline’s Charlotte, NC, Chef Daniel Gorman of The Henley Nashville, TN, Chef Sebastien Rondier of Brabo, Alexandria, VA, and Chef Lauren Teague of PACCI Italian Kitchen + Bar.

East and West BBQ

A whole hog BBQ showcase, from two of the south’s most legendary Pitmasters, Pat Martin and Sam Jones. Hosted by Alida Hotel this event was a fabulous juxtaposition between Eastern North Carolina style BBQ and Western Tennessee style. Made possible by the Savannah Food and Wine Festival.

Savannah Food & Wine Fest

Hundreds came to experience Southern charm and hospitality, Savannah Style. The South's best culinary happenings - one exceptional week in Savannah. Iconic and historic coastal venues provided the perfect backdrop for gourmet and fun. South magazine captured the experience at the VIP tent.

Big Wig Boat Bash

Savannah's Riverboat, The Georgia Queen set sail to host the final fundraiser for the 2018 class of Big Wigs, together raising over $100,000 for the Susan G. Komen Coastal Georgia Foundation. This evening included heavy hors d’oeuvres, beverages, a silent auction, music and dancing and a contest to crown the Biggest BigWig! Contest categories included: The Biggest Wig, The Pink Ribbon Award and Best Pink Personality.

Boo Bash

This spooktacular evening included hors d’oeuvres, “spirits,” music and dancing, a Halloween costume contest with cash prizes, Halloween-themed entertainment, a 50/50 raffle, live auction and talent contest. Contest categories included: Dancing, Singing, Rapping, Stand-up Comedy and Lip Syncing.

Masquerade at the Mansion

Plenty of patrons donned masks and beads for an unforgettable Mardi Gras at the Mansion. There unique entertainment, food, and decor including magic fire, beignets, king cake and a photo booth, plus music and dancing, libations, late-night treats, and lots of surprises.

DineSouth After Party

This year's DineSouth ended in a blast. Dozens headed over to Barrellhouse, who hosted the after party. They enjoyed great drinks and live music by Individually Twisted.

DineSouth 2018

This year's DineSouth sponsored by Fulfillment.com was the greatest yet! South magazine has once again put on a night filled with fantastic food and entertainment. Guests enjoyed delicious food & drinks in the city while getting the opportunity to meet and mingle with the best chefs in the South. The entertainment was amazing with American Idol winner Candice Glover, unique band Velvet Caravan and the acoustic sounds of Annie Allman. The event supported the local Salvation Army.

Grand Opening of 201 Seafood

Mixing the traditional tastes of the south with the local flair of the city, 201 Seafood and Tapas Lounge showcases Savannah's culinary community and their grand opening now gives us full access to some of the best seafood in the Coastal Empire.