These Are the Best Military Photos of 2018

United Nations Command Chaplain Army Col. Sam Lee performs a blessing of sacrifice and remembrance on the 55 cases of remains returned by North Korea at Osan Air Base, South Korea, July 27, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Quince Lanford)
United Nations Command Chaplain Army Col. Sam Lee performs a blessing of sacrifice and remembrance on the 55 cases of remains returned by North Korea at Osan Air Base, South Korea, July 27, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Quince Lanford)

Each year the Defense Department compiles and shares their best photos taken over the course of year.

From inspirational and patriotic to heart wrenching, the images show not just weapons and training, but also the softer side of military life, like humanitarian missions and homecomings.

All made by troops or DoD employees, the pictures are meant to tell the U.S. military story.

Here are the best DoD photos of 2018 as selected by the Pentagon.

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Kristina Vargas runs with members of the Kenya Defense Force's 1st Canine Regiment during a military working dog information exchange in Nairobi, Kenya, Aug. 9, 2018. (Air Force photo by Senior Airman Taylor Harrison)
Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Kristina Vargas runs with members of the Kenya Defense Force's 1st Canine Regiment during a military working dog information exchange in Nairobi, Kenya, Aug. 9, 2018. (Air Force photo by Senior Airman Taylor Harrison)

 

A howitzer round shoots into the air as soldiers assigned to the 4th Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment conduct training in Grafenwoehr, Germany, July 25, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Army Spc. Josselyn Fuentes)
A howitzer round shoots into the air as soldiers assigned to the 4th Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment conduct training in Grafenwoehr, Germany, July 25, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Army Spc. Josselyn Fuentes)

 

Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Eugene Elking extinguishes a fire while training with firefighters at Royal Air Force Molesworth, England, April 23, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brian Kimball)
Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Eugene Elking extinguishes a fire while training with firefighters at Royal Air Force Molesworth, England, April 23, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brian Kimball)

 

U.S. and French paratroopers conduct an airborne operation together in Djibouti, June 6, 2018. The service members conducted the jump to commemorate the 74th anniversary of D-Day and honor their nations’ friendship and alliance. (Air Force photo by Senior Airman Scott Jackson)
U.S. and French paratroopers conduct an airborne operation together in Djibouti, June 6, 2018. The service members conducted the jump to commemorate the 74th anniversary of D-Day and honor their nations’ friendship and alliance. (Air Force photo by Senior Airman Scott Jackson)
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kwan Walker faces the cold during a conditioning hike as part of exercise Ullr Shield at Fort McCoy, Wis., Jan. 13, 2018. (Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Cody Rowe)
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kwan Walker faces the cold during a conditioning hike as part of exercise Ullr Shield at Fort McCoy, Wis., Jan. 13, 2018. (Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Cody Rowe)

 

Sailors assigned to Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Olympia participate in a swim call at sea in the Pacific Ocean, July 31, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Petty Officer Vien Nguyen)
Sailors assigned to Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Olympia participate in a swim call at sea in the Pacific Ocean, July 31, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Petty Officer Vien Nguyen)

 

Soldiers observe a Javelin anti-tank missile live-fire training event in Iraq, Oct. 4, 2018. The soldiers, assigned to the 3rd Cavalry Regiment, were supporting Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Army photo by 2nd Lt. Jamie Douglas)
Soldiers observe a Javelin anti-tank missile live-fire training event in Iraq, Oct. 4, 2018. The soldiers, assigned to the 3rd Cavalry Regiment, were supporting Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Army photo by 2nd Lt. Jamie Douglas)

 

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Faheemah Bostan-Ali looks down the sight of an air rifle at Camp Lejeune, N.C., March 23, 2018, during the 2018 Marine Corps Trials, an event that helps select participants for the DoD Warrior Games. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Drew Tech)
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Faheemah Bostan-Ali looks down the sight of an air rifle at Camp Lejeune, N.C., March 23, 2018, during the 2018 Marine Corps Trials, an event that helps select participants for the DoD Warrior Games. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Drew Tech)

 

Marine Corps recruits do warmup exercises before martial arts training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Oct. 1, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Christian Garcia)
Marine Corps recruits do warmup exercises before martial arts training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Oct. 1, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Christian Garcia)

 

An Atlas V rocket carrying a Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit satellite for an Air Force mission lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Jan. 19, 2018. (Photo courtesy of United Launch Alliance.)
An Atlas V rocket carrying a Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit satellite for an Air Force mission lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Jan. 19, 2018. (Photo courtesy of United Launch Alliance.)

 

U.S. soldiers in an interim armored vehicle and AH-64 Apache helicopters with Battle Group Poland move to secure an area during a lethality demonstration for exercise Puma 2 at Bemowo Piskie Training Area, Poland, June 15, 2018, as part of Saber Strike 18. (U.S.Army photo by Spc. Hubert D. Delany III)
U.S. soldiers in an interim armored vehicle and AH-64 Apache helicopters with Battle Group Poland move to secure an area during a lethality demonstration for exercise Puma 2 at Bemowo Piskie Training Area, Poland, June 15, 2018, as part of Saber Strike 18. (U.S.Army photo by Spc. Hubert D. Delany III)

 

Army Sgt. Samuel Benton observes and mentors soldiers during the Bull Run V training exercise with Battle Group Poland in Olecko, Poland, May 22, 2018. (U.S.Army photo by Spc. Hubert D. Delany III)
Army Sgt. Samuel Benton observes and mentors soldiers during the Bull Run V training exercise with Battle Group Poland in Olecko, Poland, May 22, 2018. (U.S.Army photo by Spc. Hubert D. Delany III)

 

Sailors and family members wear yukata, a casual Japanese summer garment, during a community relations event in Yokosuka city, Japan, July 17, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Maria Dumanlang)
Sailors and family members wear yukata, a casual Japanese summer garment, during a community relations event in Yokosuka city, Japan, July 17, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Maria Dumanlang)

 

The guided missile destroyer USS Halsey travels in the Indian Ocean, March 28, 2018, while supporting security efforts in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Morgan K. Nall)
The guided missile destroyer USS Halsey travels in the Indian Ocean, March 28, 2018, while supporting security efforts in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Morgan K. Nall)

 

Hawaii National Guardsmen escort crews from local and national media outlets to Leilani Avenue in Pahoa, Hawaii, to cover conditions from a lava fissure, June 5, 2018. Guardsmen were on duty helping to keep citizens safe as the Kilauea volcano spewed lava. (National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. James Ro)
Hawaii National Guardsmen escort crews from local and national media outlets to Leilani Avenue in Pahoa, Hawaii, to cover conditions from a lava fissure, June 5, 2018. Guardsmen were on duty helping to keep citizens safe as the Kilauea volcano spewed lava. (National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. James Ro)

 

Sailors learn how to furl a topsail from 175 feet above the deck of USS Constitution in Boston, Aug. 14, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Joshua Hammond)
Sailors learn how to furl a topsail from 175 feet above the deck of USS Constitution in Boston, Aug. 14, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Joshua Hammond)

 

A Marine sights in on a long-range target in Amman, Jordan, April 17, 2018, during Eager Lion, a training engagement conducted by U.S. and Jordanian forces. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jon Sosner)
A Marine sights in on a long-range target in Amman, Jordan, April 17, 2018, during Eager Lion, a training engagement conducted by U.S. and Jordanian forces. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jon Sosner)

 

Four U.S. Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcons and four Swedish air force JAS 39 Gripens fly in formation behind a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker during aerial refueling training in Swedish airspace, Feb. 8, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Milano)
Four U.S. Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcons and four Swedish air force JAS 39 Gripens fly in formation behind a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker during aerial refueling training in Swedish airspace, Feb. 8, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Milano)

 

Marines ride horses with Mongolian youth at Five Hills Training Area, Mongolia, June 17, 2018, during Khaan Quest 18, a multinational exercise designed to strengthen international peace support capabilities. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Heidi Kroll)
Marines ride horses with Mongolian youth at Five Hills Training Area, Mongolia, June 17, 2018, during Khaan Quest 18, a multinational exercise designed to strengthen international peace support capabilities. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Heidi Kroll)

 

An Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II flies a mission over Afghanistan, May 28, 2018. The A-10 is assigned to the 163rd Fighter Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Corey Hook)
An Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II flies a mission over Afghanistan, May 28, 2018. The A-10 is assigned to the 163rd Fighter Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Corey Hook)

 

Soldiers push through smoke from a grenade during the ground tactical movement portion of the Operation Bowie Strike training exercise in Zhegoc, Kosovo, Jan. 19, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Nicholas Farina)
Soldiers push through smoke from a grenade during the ground tactical movement portion of the Operation Bowie Strike training exercise in Zhegoc, Kosovo, Jan. 19, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Nicholas Farina)

 

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jason Souza encourages a girl to give a thumbs up after a finger surgery in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, April 16, 2018, during the Continuing Promise 2018 training mission. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Brianna K. Green)
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jason Souza encourages a girl to give a thumbs up after a finger surgery in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, April 16, 2018, during the Continuing Promise 2018 training mission. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Brianna K. Green)

 

Navy Chief Petty Officer Miguel Mosquera hugs his family in San Diego, May 7, 2018, upon returning from a deployment aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Nick Bauer)
Navy Chief Petty Officer Miguel Mosquera hugs his family in San Diego, May 7, 2018, upon returning from a deployment aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Nick Bauer)

 

The Thunderbirds, the Air Force's flight demonstration team, rehearse in the skies over Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., May 25, 2018, before the 2018 Cannon Air Show, Space and Tech Fest. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Luke Kitterman)
The Thunderbirds, the Air Force's flight demonstration team, rehearse in the skies over Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., May 25, 2018, before the 2018 Cannon Air Show, Space and Tech Fest. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Luke Kitterman)

 

Army veteran Brian Hammill, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, competes in the Heard Museum World Championship Hoop Dance Contest in Phoenix, Feb. 10, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Anita C. Newman)
Army veteran Brian Hammill, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, competes in the Heard Museum World Championship Hoop Dance Contest in Phoenix, Feb. 10, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Anita C. Newman)

 

Marines conduct explosive detection patrols at Landing Zone Gander in Okinawa, Japan, June 27, 2018. The Marines are assigned to the 3rd Law Enforcement Battalion, III Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Jordan Gilbert)
Marines conduct explosive detection patrols at Landing Zone Gander in Okinawa, Japan, June 27, 2018. The Marines are assigned to the 3rd Law Enforcement Battalion, III Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Jordan Gilbert)

 

A Special Forces soldier stalks a target during a reconnaissance and surveillance exercise at Joint Base Cape Cod, Mass., June 8, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Samuel Keenan)
A Special Forces soldier stalks a target during a reconnaissance and surveillance exercise at Joint Base Cape Cod, Mass., June 8, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Samuel Keenan)

 

Navy Recruit Training Command band members perform during a graduation ceremony in Great Lakes, Ill., Nov. 21, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Spencer Fling)
Navy Recruit Training Command band members perform during a graduation ceremony in Great Lakes, Ill., Nov. 21, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Spencer Fling)

 

Air Force Staff Sgt. Robert Jette undergoes a body composition measurement test at a 350th Battlefield Airmen Training Squadron facility at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, June 28, 2018. Jette is a special operations recruiter. (U.S. Air Force photo by EJ Hersom)
Air Force Staff Sgt. Robert Jette undergoes a body composition measurement test at a 350th Battlefield Airmen Training Squadron facility at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, June 28, 2018. Jette is a special operations recruiter. (U.S. Air Force photo by EJ Hersom)

 

Yellow powder engulfs a Marine participating in the Color Consent Run for sexual assault prevention and awareness at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., April 6, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Christian Lopez)
Yellow powder engulfs a Marine participating in the Color Consent Run for sexual assault prevention and awareness at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., April 6, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Christian Lopez)

 

Sailors man a .50-caliber machine gun aboard the USS Carney as the guided missile destroyer ship travels in the Bosporus, Feb., 17, 2018. The Carney is supporting U.S. national security interests in Europe and regional allies and partners. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class James R. Turner
Sailors man a .50-caliber machine gun aboard the USS Carney as the guided missile destroyer ship travels in the Bosporus, Feb., 17, 2018. The Carney is supporting U.S. national security interests in Europe and regional allies and partners. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class James R. Turner

 

Air Force 2nd Lt. Alicia Bridel practices a rainbow kick at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., July 20, 2018. Bridel, an operational research analyst, was a member of the 2012 Messiah College team, that year's Division III women's soccer champions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Timothy Koster)
Air Force 2nd Lt. Alicia Bridel practices a rainbow kick at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., July 20, 2018. Bridel, an operational research analyst, was a member of the 2012 Messiah College team, that year's Division III women's soccer champions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Timothy Koster)

 

A soldier hands out candy to a group of kids during a patrol along the demarcation line outside Manbij, Syria, July 14, 2018. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Timothy R. Koster
A soldier hands out candy to a group of kids during a patrol along the demarcation line outside Manbij, Syria, July 14, 2018. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Timothy R. Koster

 

Marine Corps Cpls. Matthew Teutsch and Brett Norman participate in hand-to-hand and close-quarters combat training at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Oct. 2, 2018. Marine Corps photo by  Staff Sgt. Donald Holbert
Marine Corps Cpls. Matthew Teutsch and Brett Norman participate in hand-to-hand and close-quarters combat training at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Oct. 2, 2018. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Donald Holbert

 

More than 500 drones illuminate the sky during a light show at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., July 5, 2018. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christian Conrad
More than 500 drones illuminate the sky during a light show at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., July 5, 2018. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christian Conrad

 

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Sharese Grey tests a sample from a sprinkler during an aqueous film forming foam countermeasure wash-down aboard the USS Ronald Reagan during sea trials south of Japan, May 12, 2018. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Kenneth Abbate
Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Sharese Grey tests a sample from a sprinkler during an aqueous film forming foam countermeasure wash-down aboard the USS Ronald Reagan during sea trials south of Japan, May 12, 2018. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Kenneth Abbate

 

Marine Corps Sgt. Lakezia Ortiz participates in a tug-of-war competition at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., April 13, 2018. Ortiz is a section chief assigned to Repairable Maintenance Company, 1st Maintenance Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Dalton Swanbeck
Marine Corps Sgt. Lakezia Ortiz participates in a tug-of-war competition at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., April 13, 2018. Ortiz is a section chief assigned to Repairable Maintenance Company, 1st Maintenance Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Dalton Swanbeck

 

Retired Army Col. Ben Skardon, a 100-year-old Bataan Death March survivor, crosses the 8.5-mile finish line of the Bataan Memorial Death March at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., March 25, 2018. (Army photo by Ken Scar)
Retired Army Col. Ben Skardon, a 100-year-old Bataan Death March survivor, crosses the 8.5-mile finish line of the Bataan Memorial Death March at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., March 25, 2018. (Army photo by Ken Scar)

 

The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Healy sits in the ice about 715 miles north of Barrow, Alaska, Sept. 30, 2018, during an Arctic research mission. (Coast Guard photo by Senior Chief Petty Officer NyxoLyno Cangemi)
The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Healy sits in the ice about 715 miles north of Barrow, Alaska, Sept. 30, 2018, during an Arctic research mission. (Coast Guard photo by Senior Chief Petty Officer NyxoLyno Cangemi)

 

U.S. Marines and Malaysian troops use smoke to obscure their movements during an exercise in Tanduo Beach, Malaysia, Aug. 17, 2018, as part of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training 2018. (Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. A. J. Van Fredenberg)
U.S. Marines and Malaysian troops use smoke to obscure their movements during an exercise in Tanduo Beach, Malaysia, Aug. 17, 2018, as part of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training 2018. (Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. A. J. Van Fredenberg)

 

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Jacob Smelser cleans a monument at the Utah Beach D-Day Museum in Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, France, April 10, 2018, during a port visit by the USS Porter. (Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ford Williams)
Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Jacob Smelser cleans a monument at the Utah Beach D-Day Museum in Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, France, April 10, 2018, during a port visit by the USS Porter. (Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ford Williams)

 

Army Staff Sgt. Ge Xiong checks a 600-gallon water bucket before a mission at the Mendocino Complex Fires in Lake, Colusa and Mendocino counties, Calif., Aug. 10, 2018. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Eddie Siguenza
Army Staff Sgt. Ge Xiong checks a 600-gallon water bucket before a mission at the Mendocino Complex Fires in Lake, Colusa and Mendocino counties, Calif., Aug. 10, 2018. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Eddie Siguenza
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