(Marine Corps Cpl. Brendan Custer)

The US military, despite the rise of powerful rivals, remains an unmatched military force with more than 2 million active-duty and reserve troops ready to defend the homeland and protect American interests abroad.

Insider took a look back at the thousands of photos of the military in action and selected its favorites.

The following 11 photos, many of which were also Department of Defense favorites, were the ones we chose.


1. Seaman Marcus White, from San Diego, stands watch in the Philippine Sea on June 30, 2019 as aft lookout aboard the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) during a replenishment-at-sea with the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76).

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Harris)

2. A Wyoming Air National Guard C-130 fires flares over Camp Guernsey Joint Training Center, Wyo., Sept. 24, 2019, during a training mission.

(Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Jon Alderman)

DoD pick

3. Three F/A-18E Super Hornets assigned to the Knighthawks of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 136 from Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore flown fly in formation over the Sea Test Range in the Pacific Ocean on March 7, 2019 after completing a training mission.

(U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. Darin Russell)

4. Marines use a fire hose to extinguish a fuel fire during live-burn training at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa, Japan, Jan. 25, 2019.

(Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Nicole Rogge)

DoD pick

5. The guided-missile destroyer USS Gridley (DDG 101) fires its Mark 45 5-inch gun during a live-fire exercise in the Norwegian Sea on Nov. 22, 2019.

(U.S. Navy photo by Master-At-Arms 1st Class Joseph Broyles)

6. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Juan Vasquezninco provides security during small boat raid training at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Sept. 10, 2019.

(Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Brendan Mullin)

DoD pick

7. An F-15E Strike Eagle refuels from a 908th Expeditionary Aerial Refueling Squadron KC-10 Extender in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, March 17, 2019.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jordan Castelan)

8. Three MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopters line the seawall at Naval Air Station Jacksonville as the sun rises over the St. Johns River on June 13, 2019.

(U.S. Navy photo by Jeff Morton)

DoD pick

9. Army paratroopers jump from a CH-47 Chinook helicopter over the Bunker drop zone at Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, Aug. 14, 2019.

(Army Sgt. Henry Villarama)

DoD pick

10. An Air Force B-2 Spirit bomber, two Royal Air Force F-35 Lightning IIs and two F-15 Eagles fly in formation behind a KC-135 Stratotanker during a training mission over England, Sept. 16, 2019.

(Air Force Senior Airman Thomas Barley)

DoD pick

11. A service member jumps out of a Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey during parachute training at Marine Corps Training Area Bellows, Hawaii, Aug. 13, 2019.

(Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jacob Wilson)

This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.