Best of Modern US Army Photography

June 19, 2015 5:34 pm Last Updated: June 19, 2015 6:23 pm

Army strong? How about Army beautiful. Let us dive into United States Army photography, an actual career path within the military branch leading one to document, sometimes in the most spectacular fashion, the deeds of the men and women in the more than one-million-strong fighting body.

About half a million men and women serve in active duty, some 350,000 in the National Guard and about 200,000 in reserve.

The U.S. Army finds its roots in the Continental Army set up in 1775 to fight the Revolutionary War. The Congress of the Confederation set up the actual U.S. Army after the war in 1784, but the Army still considers itself the continuation of the Continental Army and so it just celebrated, on June 14, its 240th birthday.

Though the Army is focused on land-based warfare, it is able to muster up considerable power in the air as well with almost 5,000 aircraft, the most menacing of which are over 700 AH-64 Apache helicopters.

Interestingly, although the Army has over 10,000 armored vehicles, only about 1,500 of them are tanks, the M1 Abrams vehicles serving since 1980. Throughout the years the tank went through several upgrades with the last one rolled out in 1992.

Yet the Army has at its disposal another 1,000–2,000 vehicles easily mistaken for a tank by a layman, the M109 self-propelled howitzers. As seen on the second picture in the gallery above, the M109 has a sizable howitzer mounted on it, which is capable of bombarding targets up to 11 miles away with massive 155 mm shells.

Another signature piece of equipment, seen on the fourth image, is the CH-47 Chinook twin-engine helicopter. In use since the Vietnam war, modern versions of Chinook can carry as much as 28,000 pounds of cargo.