10 Powerful Military Photos

With the upcoming Memorial Day weekend ahead of us we take time to remember those military members who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our great country and those who currently serve to help protect our freedom. To help remember, we wanted to share 10 powerful military photos with you today that we first saw on Mashable

The Department of Defense recently announced the winners of its 2015 photo competition, called the Visual Information Awards Program, which honors the best in military photography of the year. More than 2,432 photos were entered into the annual competition. 

This program celebrates the work of photographers, videographers, journalists, mass communication specialists and graphic artists serving in the different branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston, USAF was named this year's Military Photographer of the Year.

Check out a few of the winners below! 

1st place in the Combat Operations category: A U.S. Air Force pararescueman with Joint Task Force 505 helps evacuate earthquake victims from an area near Charikot, Nepal, after a 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck the country, May 12. JTF 505 along with other multinational forces and humanitarian relief organizations are currently in Nepal providing aid after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the country on April 25. At Nepal’s request, the U.S. government ordered JTF 505 to provide unique capabilities to assist Nepal. IMAGE: STAFF SGT. JEFFREY D. ANDERSON, USMC

1st place in the Combat Operations category: A U.S. Air Force pararescueman with Joint Task Force 505 helps evacuate earthquake victims from an area near Charikot, Nepal, after a 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck the country, May 12. JTF 505 along with other multinational forces and humanitarian relief organizations are currently in Nepal providing aid after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the country on April 25. At Nepal’s request, the U.S. government ordered JTF 505 to provide unique capabilities to assist Nepal.

IMAGE: STAFF SGT. JEFFREY D. ANDERSON, USMC

1st place in the Combat Training category: U.S. Air Force Combat Control trainees assigned to Operating Location C, 342nd Training Squadron, laugh with each other while sharing a meal during a long day of training on Feb. 13, 2015. Working as a team and keeping morale high within the unit is vital to each airman’s success as they push through training. At the 342nd TRS both CCT and Special Operations Weather Team trainees go through four months of grueling tactical and classroom training. IMAGE: STAFF SGT. KENNY HOLSTON, USAF

1st place in the Combat Training category: U.S. Air Force Combat Control trainees assigned to Operating Location C, 342nd Training Squadron, laugh with each other while sharing a meal during a long day of training on Feb. 13, 2015. Working as a team and keeping morale high within the unit is vital to each airman’s success as they push through training. At the 342nd TRS both CCT and Special Operations Weather Team trainees go through four months of grueling tactical and classroom training.

IMAGE: STAFF SGT. KENNY HOLSTON, USAF

1st Place in the Features category: U.S. marines with 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division participate in a tug of war competition during warrior night at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., July 1, 2015. Warrior night is an annual event held to build camaraderie in the battalion. IMAGE: LANCE CPL. RYAN P. KIERKEGAARD, USMC

1st Place in the Features category: U.S. marines with 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division participate in a tug of war competition during warrior night at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., July 1, 2015. Warrior night is an annual event held to build camaraderie in the battalion.

IMAGE: LANCE CPL. RYAN P. KIERKEGAARD, USMC

1st place in the Pictorial category: A U.S. Marine with Bravo Company, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, stands on top of a Light Armored Vehicle 25 during duck for Steel Knight 16 (SK-16), at National Training Center Fort Irwin, Calif., Dec. 13, 2015. Steel Knight is an annual field training exercise that enables 1st Marine Division to test and refine its command and control capabilities by acting as the command element for a forward-deployed Marine Expeditionary Force. IMAGE: CPL. MATTHEW HOWE, USMC

1st place in the Pictorial category: A U.S. Marine with Bravo Company, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, stands on top of a Light Armored Vehicle 25 during duck for Steel Knight 16 (SK-16), at National Training Center Fort Irwin, Calif., Dec. 13, 2015. Steel Knight is an annual field training exercise that enables 1st Marine Division to test and refine its command and control capabilities by acting as the command element for a forward-deployed Marine Expeditionary Force.

IMAGE: CPL. MATTHEW HOWE, USMC

3rd Place in the News category: 38th Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter, Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh, 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, and 39th Chief of Staff of the Army Mark A. Milley stand in line prior to the start of the United States Army Change of Responsibility ceremony held at Summerall Field in Fort Myer, Va., Aug. 14, 2015. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno relinquished command of the U.S. Army to Gen. Mark A. Milley during the ceremony hosted by Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh. IMAGE: STAFF SGT. SEAN K. HARP, USA

3rd Place in the News category: 38th Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter, Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh, 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, and 39th Chief of Staff of the Army Mark A. Milley stand in line prior to the start of the United States Army Change of Responsibility ceremony held at Summerall Field in Fort Myer, Va., Aug. 14, 2015. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno relinquished command of the U.S. Army to Gen. Mark A. Milley during the ceremony hosted by Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh.

IMAGE: STAFF SGT. SEAN K. HARP, USA

1st Place in the Portrait Personality category: Maj. Sherrill Arvin (ret.) has his portrait taken during an interview recapping his time in service during the 1940s '50s, '60s and '70s as an aviator in the Airman Heritage Museum on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, April 16, 2015. Arvin began his military involvement on JBSA-Lackland at the San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center and continues to volunteer at the Airman Heritage Museum. IMAGE: SENIOR AIRMAN JORDAN A. CASTELAN, USAF

1st Place in the Portrait Personality category: Maj. Sherrill Arvin (ret.) has his portrait taken during an interview recapping his time in service during the 1940s '50s, '60s and '70s as an aviator in the Airman Heritage Museum on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, April 16, 2015. Arvin began his military involvement on JBSA-Lackland at the San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center and continues to volunteer at the Airman Heritage Museum.

IMAGE: SENIOR AIRMAN JORDAN A. CASTELAN, USAF

1st place in the Sports Photography category: Two soldiers play catch with a football while a fellow soldier watches the perimeter of the training grounds during the Expert Field Medic Badge course at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Sept. 24, 2015. The EFMB is the non-combat equivalent of the Combat Medical Badge and is awarded to medical personnel of the U.S. military who successfully complete a set of qualification tests. IMAGE: SENIOR AIRMAN JORDAN A. CASTELAN, USAF

1st place in the Sports Photography category: Two soldiers play catch with a football while a fellow soldier watches the perimeter of the training grounds during the Expert Field Medic Badge course at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Sept. 24, 2015. The EFMB is the non-combat equivalent of the Combat Medical Badge and is awarded to medical personnel of the U.S. military who successfully complete a set of qualification tests.

IMAGE: SENIOR AIRMAN JORDAN A. CASTELAN, USAF

Hon. Mention in the Combat Training category: A Marine purses his eyes and lips shut as he is dragged from a mock booby trap in the “Pit and Pond” obstacle during the endurance course on April 19 at the Jungle Warfare Training Center, Okinawa, Japan. The endurance course is the final event Marines participating in jungle warfare training must face, trudging through roughly five miles of Okinawa jungle and 30 obstacles. Marines got creative in shuffling their squad mates beneath loose Plexiglas, avoiding contact with the “booby trap” at all costs. If any portion of the pane is touched, all Marines in a 5-meter radius are considered casualties and have to go back through the Pit and Pond. The Marines are with Company L, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment. The Hawaii-based battalion is attached to 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force as part of the unit deployment program. IMAGE: SGT. MATTHEW CALLAHAN, USMC

Hon. Mention in the Combat Training category: A Marine purses his eyes and lips shut as he is dragged from a mock booby trap in the “Pit and Pond” obstacle during the endurance course on April 19 at the Jungle Warfare Training Center, Okinawa, Japan. The endurance course is the final event Marines participating in jungle warfare training must face, trudging through roughly five miles of Okinawa jungle and 30 obstacles. Marines got creative in shuffling their squad mates beneath loose Plexiglas, avoiding contact with the “booby trap” at all costs. If any portion of the pane is touched, all Marines in a 5-meter radius are considered casualties and have to go back through the Pit and Pond. The Marines are with Company L, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment. The Hawaii-based battalion is attached to 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force as part of the unit deployment program.

IMAGE: SGT. MATTHEW CALLAHAN, USMC

2nd place in the Combat Operations category: Soldiers from Alpha Company, 1st Armored Battalion, 77th Armored Regiment 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, East Africa Response Force (EARF) bound to cover by section during a live fire training exercise at the Arta training range in Djibouti, May 30, 2015. The EARF is a quick reaction force designed to defend U.S. assets within the Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa area of responsibility. IMAGE: STAFF SGT. GREGORY BROOK, USA

2nd place in the Combat Operations category: Soldiers from Alpha Company, 1st Armored Battalion, 77th Armored Regiment 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, East Africa Response Force (EARF) bound to cover by section during a live fire training exercise at the Arta training range in Djibouti, May 30, 2015. The EARF is a quick reaction force designed to defend U.S. assets within the Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa area of responsibility.

IMAGE: STAFF SGT. GREGORY BROOK, USA

Hon. Mention in the Combat Training category: Cpl. Anthony Skon closes his eyes and braces himself against the weight of a Marine climbing over him to scale a wall during the endurance course April 19 at the Jungle Warfare Training Center, Okinawa. Marines ran in 12-man squads over roughly five miles of Okinawa jungle and through 30 obstacles in JWTC’s culminating event, which helps to build upon what the Marines learned through the previous week of jungle warfare training. Skon is a Queen Creek, Ariz., Native and team leader with Company L, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment out of Marine Corps Base Hawaii. IMAGE: SGT. MATTHEW CALLAHAN, USMC

Hon. Mention in the Combat Training category: Cpl. Anthony Skon closes his eyes and braces himself against the weight of a Marine climbing over him to scale a wall during the endurance course April 19 at the Jungle Warfare Training Center, Okinawa. Marines ran in 12-man squads over roughly five miles of Okinawa jungle and through 30 obstacles in JWTC’s culminating event, which helps to build upon what the Marines learned through the previous week of jungle warfare training. Skon is a Queen Creek, Ariz., Native and team leader with Company L, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment out of Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

IMAGE: SGT. MATTHEW CALLAHAN, USMC

To see more military photos, visit the original article on Mashable. Camera Giveaways honors those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and for those who currently fight for our country. Thank you for your service. 

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