The most incredible photos of the US Army in 2016

Special Operations Command sniper us armyTech Sgt. Efren LopezA Special Operations Command sniper walks a ridge line during a special reconnaissance mission.

The US Army, the largest branch of the US armed forces, had a challenging year in 2016.

With forces deployed all over the globe and ever-changing political and battlefield dynamics, the US Army depends on disciplined soldiers at all levels to maintain professionalism and to protect Americans and their interests.

Below are a selection of the best, most inspiring pictures taken by the US Army in 2016. We tried to paint a picture of the diverse, proud reality of Army life.

The US Army consists of a huge variety of specialised commands and forces. Here a Green Beret, the Army's special forces component, surveys a vast, beautiful landscape.

A US Green Beret overlooks a valley while training horse riding techniques.

Here's a classic scene: US Army soldiers doing what they do best -- taking a door with overwhelming force ...

Soldiers take a doorway in a mock urban environment during live-fire exercises.

... And securing a room like nobody's business.

Green Berets flood a room while practicing close quarters combat techniques.

But Army soldiers don't always waltz into battle on foot. Here paratroopers prepare for an assault after landing.

Paratroopers prepare for an assault on an urban warfare training site in Lithuania.

Some of Army life is what you'd expect -- big guns on top of hummers ...

A Reserve military soldier lets an M240B rip during night fire qualification.

... Anti-armour units practicing to crush enemy tanks ...

Soldiers fire the Javelin, an anti-tank weapon, during a training exercise.

... And blasting rockets off with speed and precision.

A soldier fires a Carl Gustav M3 84mm recoilless rifle.

Specialised vehicles are equipped to fire off even larger rockets.

Sgt. Aaron Ellerman
Soldiers fire a rocket from an M142 high mobility rocket system during training in Kuwait.

Ghillie-suited snipers train at blending into their surroundings.

A Special Operations Command sniper walks a ridge line during a special reconnaissance mission.

Soldiers also practice putting on camo war paint on soldiers to show they mean business.

A soldier applies camouflage face paint before a night static-line jump.

During training, soldiers get down and dirty in the mud.

An Army National Guard recruit dives head first into the mud at an obstacle course event.

Here, the Army rolls out armoured vehicles under smoke and flares.

Flares drop as soldiers simulate an attack on enemy combatants.

Facing the harshest elements in sheer mountain cliffs in the wilderness, a soldier takes part in mountain warfare training.

A soldier climbs during mountain warfare training.

Army Rangers practice gruelling, brutal training regimes focused on lethality and resourcefulness.

US Army Ranger students train with knives.

But the Army is about more than fighting, it's also about supporting your team ...

A soldier helps his squad over a wall at an obstacle course event.

... Facing your fears besides your brothers in arms ...

Soldiers maintain a defensive position amid fire phobia training

... And about representing the US and Americans.

An army veteran celebrates during introductions at the Invictus Games.

Being in the Army is about paying respect to those who came before us and gave their lives ...

Trumpet player from the US Army's band 'Pershing's Own' performs 'Taps' at Arlington National Cemetery.

... And acknowledging the past and moving forward honorably.

US Army Captain presents a folded flag at a full military honours ceremony to the living relative of one of the famous Tuskegee Airmen.

The US Army provides new hope and opportunity to the next generation.

Second Lt. Alix Schoelcher Idrache, a Haitian immigrant, sheds a tear during the graduation ceremony at West Point.

The Army's aviation is also no joke.

Army National Guard crew chief completes preflight checks on Black Hawk helicopters for a blizzard response exercise.

Neither is the service's boats. The Army's logistics vessels can move mountains.

Army soldiers aboard a logistics vessel.

And don't think that the US Army doesn't dive.

US Army, Navy, and Coast Guard divers swim with Royal Australian Navy sailors at RIMPAC, the world's largest international maritime exercise.

The US Army doesn't just protect America, it provides safety and security for nations around the world.

US Army soldiers train with Mongolian forces to clear mines.

Here Latvian allies train to call in air support from US planes, as NATO allies always look out for each other.

Latvian troops practice calling in close air support with US forces.

US forces also practiced detonating mines with the Germans.

Soldiers clear a mine at a training ground in Germany.

For Army soldiers, any excuse to yell 'HOOAH' will do.

Pregame hype at the Army All American Bowl.

Even Captain America has to give it up. There's strong, and then there's Army strong.

'Captain America' actor Chris Evans appears to fall behind in an arm wrestling contest with a US Army soldier during a USO tour.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.