14 of the best photos of US military life during 2016

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Air Force Tech. Sgt. Michelle Hooper, left, and Staff Sgt. Jordan Kimble perform with Full Spectrum, a six-piece band, in front of airmen at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, May 4, 2016. The band is from the US Air Force Heritage of America Band.
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Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kayla Newman

Scattered across hundreds of bases in scores of countries around the world, US military personnel often find themselves in mundane, even austere, surroundings.

There’s no shortage of things for them to do while on station, but military life isn’t all marching and scrubbing.

The 14 photos below, compiled by the US Defense Department, depict some of the lighter moments enjoyed by soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen, and coast guardsmen during 2016.


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US Fleet Forces Band members perform pier side as the USS Arlington returns home to Norfolk, Virginia, May 3, 2016, after a seven-month deployment. The amphibious transport dock ship arrived at Naval Station Norfolk after conducting maritime security operations in the US 5th Fleet and US 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.
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Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Kameren Guy Hodnett

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A member of the Golden Knights, the Army’s aerial demonstration team, parachutes toward the ground during 2016 Friendship Day at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, May 5, 2016. The team travels throughout the US and overseas.
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Air Force photo by Senior Airman David Owsianka

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Air Force Col. Doug Schwartz gets a champagne shower upon landing from his last flight as commander of the 434th Air Refueling Wing at Grissom Air Reserve Base, Indiana, May 13, 2016. Schwartz retired after 35 years of military service.
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Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Mota

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Marines, sailors, and a “gator” mascot aboard the amphibious-assault ship USS Bataan man the rails during the parade of ships as part of Fleet Week New York in New York City, May 25, 2016. The Bataan transported more than 500 troops assigned to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit to the event.
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Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Todd F. Michalek

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Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Gina Danals plays with a child at Crown Heights Library in Brooklyn, New York, May 26, 2016, as part of the Brooklyn Library Read Aloud Program during Fleet Week New York. The event enables citizens to meet sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen, and observe the latest capabilities of today’s maritime services.
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Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Isaiah Sellers III

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Marines assigned to the 10th Marine Regiment prepare to play tug of war as part of the Kings Games at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, June 29, 2016.
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Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Joey Mendez

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Members of the Oregon Army National Guard display the American flag on stage while the band Kiss performs the national anthem during the “Freedom to Rock” concert in Eugene, Oregon, July 9, 2016. The soldiers provided a color guard for the band’s patriotic tribute to US military and veterans at the concert.
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Oregon National Guard photo by Maj. W. Chris Clyne

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A UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter and airmen demonstrate insertion and extraction techniques at the 2016 Atlantic City Airshow over the boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey, August 17, 2016. The airmen are assigned to the New Jersey Air National Guard’s 227th Air Support Operations Squadron.
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Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen

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The US Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team performs a rifle demonstration during the 2016 Air Force Tattoo at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, DC, September 22, 2016. The event commemorated the Air Force’s 69th birthday.
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Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jordyn Fetter

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The amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima sails past the Statue of Liberty as it enters New York Harbor, November 10, 2016, before Veterans Week NYC 2016, which honors the service of all US veterans. About 1,000 sailors and more than 100 Marines from the ship planned to participate in events throughout the city, including the Veterans Day parade.
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Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Carla Giglio

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Army Pfc. Harlan Troutman scrambles into the driver’s compartment of an M1A1 Abrams tank during the Gen. Gordon Sullivan Cup best tank crew competition at Fort Benning, Georgia, May 3, 2016. Troutman is assigned to the Tennessee Army National Guard’s H Troop, 2nd Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment.
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Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy

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Air Force Tech. Sgt. Michelle Hooper, left, and Staff Sgt. Jordan Kimble perform with Full Spectrum, a six-piece band, in front of airmen at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, May 4, 2016. The band is from the US Air Force Heritage of America Band.
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Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kayla Newman

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Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Trevor Thompson, a member of the Leap Frogs, the Navy’s parachute team, presents the American flag during a practice session at Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida, February 26, 2016. Thompson is a special warfare operator. The parachute team was in Florida to prepare for the 2016 show season.
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Navy photo by Jim Woods

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Canto, a military working dog, jumps toward Army Pfc. Patterson, who plays the role of an aggressor during a military working-dog demonstration at Fort Meade, Maryland, August, 2, 2016.
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Department of Defense photo by EJ Hersom