FROM a smiling, mud-covered soldier in camouflage gear to stunning aerial shots of parachutists dangling in freefall, members of the Irish Defence Forces have captured a brilliant array of images taken over the past year.
The top 10 shots, taken by Defence Forces personnel who are also skilled cameramen and women, have been released on the Irish military's website to give the public a taste of a day in the life of the Irish Defence Forces.
For the second consecutive year, the top military photos have been selected from hundreds of "action" photos taken during training exercises on land, sea and air both here and overseas.
One stunning shot taken earlier this month looks like a scene from the hit sci-fi film 'Independence Day', in which three scorpion tanks blast a fictitious target in the snow-covered Glen of Immal in Co Wicklow.
Another stunning image shows three Defence Forces parachutists in a freefall exit from an Air Corps CASA maritime patrol jet.
Another intriguing shot shows a young officer covered from head to toe in mud with an inscrutable smile on his face as he wallows in a muck-covered field.
None of the images -- aside from formal ceremonial shots -- are posed or staged. They were taken by accredited Defence Forces personnel during actual or training missions.
"It really gives an insight into the daily life of the Defence Forces," a spokeswoman said.
The full set of images are available on the Defence Forces website at www.military.ie.