The 27 most powerful images of the US military in 2018

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Cristian L. RicardoMarine Candidates participate in a fire team assault course at the Officer Candidate School, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, June 17, 2017.
  • The US military posts hundreds of photos and videos every day from missions around the world.
  • Business Insider selected some of the most compelling images taken in 2018 from across the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.

The US has the world’s most powerful military. It also has a small army of talented photographers who showcase the military’s missions and training every day.

At home and around the world, the American armed forces defend US national interests, as well as global peace and security. US troops often put themselves in harm’s way in service to the nation, from fighting Taliban forces in Afghanistan to waging war against ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria, and sometimes they make the ultimate sacrifice.

Business Insider selected 27 photos from the US military in 2018 that you won’t want to miss.


A U.S. Army combat medic assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C., readies his equipment before embarking on his final evaluation lane while competing for the Expert Field Medical Badge on Nov. 6, 2018.

Source: US Army


A southern black racer snake slithers across the rifle barrel held by junior Army National Guard sniper Pfc. William Snyder as he practices woodland stalking in a camouflaged ghillie suit at Eglin Air Force Base on April 7, 2018.

Source: Department of Defence


Army combat engineers assigned to the 2nd Armoured Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division blast through a concrete wall during demolition training at Fort Hood, Texas on July 17, 2018.

Source: Department of Defence


Paratroopers assigned to Army Alaska’s 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division descend toward Malemute Drop Zone at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, July 17, 2018.

Air Force photo by Senior Airman Javier Alvarez

Source: Department of Defence


A Navy MH-60S Seahawk fires flares during an air power demonstration over the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt in the Pacific Ocean on May 3, 2018.

Navy photo by Seaman Michael A. Colemanberry

Airmen assigned to the 82nd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron and deployed in support of humanitarian aid and contingency operations in the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa area of responsibility perform a military free fall jump in Djibouti, April 17, 2018.

Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Gustavo Castillo

Marine Corps Cpls. Matthew Teutsch and Brett Norman participate in hand-to-hand and close quarters combat training at Camp Pendleton, California on Oct. 2, 2018.

Marine Corps photo by Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Donald Holbert

Spidey, a Marine Corps military working dog, waits with his handler during a live-fire exercise on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima in the Mediterranean Sea on March 4, 2018.

Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Daniel C. Coxwest

A Coast Guard C-27J Spartan crew, assigned to Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento, flies over San Francisco, California, during area of responsibility familiarization training, Monday on Feb. 6, 2018. The aircraft is outfitted with weather radar and communications equipment capable of supporting transport and other Coast Guard missions.


Air Force pararescuemen assigned to the 83rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron work with members of Army Task Force Brawler, flying the CH-47F Chinook, during exfiltration after the completion of a training exercise at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan on March 14, 2018.

U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Gregory Brook

Source: US Air Force


A U.S. Army Task Force Brawler CH-47F Chinook flight engineer sits on the ramp while conducting a training exercise with a Guardian Angel team assigned to the 83rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan on March 26, 2018.

Source: US Air Force


A U.S. Air Force F-15D Eagle flies above the Mariana Islands in support of exercise Valiant Shield on Sept. 18, 2018.

Source: US Air Force


Airman Amanda Danforth, 96th Security Forces Squadron, watches the horizon during an alarm phase of a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive training exercise at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida on Feb. 1, 2018.

U.S. Air Force photo by Samuel King Jr.

Source: US Air Force


A U.S. Coast Guard Station Honolulu 45-foot Response Boat Medium crew responds to a sinking charter boat off Ewa Beach, Hawaii on Oct. 28, 2018.

Source: U.S. Coast Guard District 14 Hawaii Pacific


Sailors assigned to the Los Angeles-class submarine USS Olympia dive in during the Rim of the Pacific exercises in August 2018.


Marines with 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division fire an M777 Howitzer at known targets during training at Mount Bundey Training Area, Australia on August 9, 2018.

Source: US Marine Corps


Marines with Black Sea Rotational Force 18.1 fire an 81mm mortar system during Exercise Platinum Eagle 18 at Babadag Training Area, Romania on Sept. 5, 2018.


Hospital Corpsman Jacob Adam drinks cobra blood at jungle survival training during Exercise Cobra Gold 2018 at Camp Ban Chan Khrem in the Kingdom of Thailand on Feb. 17, 2018.


Sailors assigned to aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Momsen practice firefighting skills and techniques by battling a simulated fire at the Bremerton International Emergency Services Training Center on Mar. 22, 2018.

U.S. NavyU.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Wyatt L. Anthony

A formation of F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings stationed at Hill Air Force Base perform aerial maneuvers as part of a combat power exercise over Utah Test and Training Range on Nov. 19, 2018.

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Cory D. Payne

U.S. Army Paratroopers assigned to the 173rd Brigade Support Battalion, 173rd Airborne Brigade, descend onto Juliet Drop Zone in Pordenone, Italy during an airborne operation from a US Air Force 86th Air Wing C-130 Hercules aircraft Jan. 18, 2018.

Source: US Army


Soldiers push through smoke from a grenade during the ground tactical movement portion of the Operation Bowie Strike training exercise in Zhegoc, Kosovo on Jan. 19, 2018.


The aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman transits the Strait of Gibraltar on June 28, 2018.

U.S. Navy

Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Michael DeCesare, assigned to Coastal Riverine Squadron (CRS) 4, fires an M2 machine gun aboard a Mark VI patrol boat during a crew served weapons qualification in the Philippine Sea on April 12, 2018.

U.S. Navy

Marines with Maritime Raid Force, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, swim underwater during dive training in Aqaba, Jordan, July 8, 2018.


The Thunderbirds Delta formation performs a Pass in Review while flying past the Freedom Tower in New York on Sept. 17, 2018.

Source: US Air Force


Coast Guard Cutter Cypress is equipped for navigation operations, as well as search and rescue, law enforcement, homeland security, pollution response, and domestic icebreaking missions.

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