M982 Excalibur 155mm round leaves barrel of an M777 Howitzer during live-fire shoot

December 5, 2012 - Photo by Sgt. Sean Harriman

M982 Excalibur 155mm round leaves barrel of an M777 Howitzer during live-fire shoot - Download Hi-Res photo

The M982 Excalibur 155mm round leaves the barrel of an M777 Howitzer during a live-fire shoot conducted by Soldiers of the 4th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, at Oro Grande Range Complex, N.M., Dec. 5,2012. The training shoot was the first of its kind conducted outside of the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif., or in combat downrange.

Specialist Lyle Yantz and several other service members participating in Operation Proper Exit

December 6, 2012 - Photo by Staff Sgt. Brendan Mackie

Specialist Lyle Yantz and several other service members participating in Operation Proper Exit - Download Hi-Res photo

Spc. Lyle Yantz and several other service members participating in Operation Proper Exit are greeted at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, after arrival, Dec. 6, 2012. Operation Proper Exit brings severely wounded service members back to the theater where they sustained their injuries to provide a first-hand progress update on the continuing mission and to help in the healing process. Yantz is from Sedalia, Mo.

Class of 2014 Cadet Mackenzie Vaughn, a civil engineering major, running

December 7, 2012 - Photo by Mike Strasser

Class of 2014 Cadet Mackenzie Vaughn, a civil engineering major, running - Download Hi-Res photo

Class of 2014 Cadet Mackenzie Vaughn, a civil engineering major, runs solo while her teammates conserve their energy for their shifts in the 150-mile journey from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., to Philadelphia.

United States Army Combat Veterans are honored during 113th Army-Navy football game

December 8, 2012 - Photo by Staff Sgt. Teddy Wade

United States Army Combat Veterans are honored during 113th Army-Navy football game - Download Hi-Res photo

U.S. Army Combat Veterans are honored during a ceremony in recognition of Valor in Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, during the 113th Army-Navy football game, Dec. 8, 2012, in Philadelphia.

Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III explains tradition of excellence behind command coins

December 11, 2012 - Photo by J.D. Leipold

Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III explains tradition of excellence behind command coins - Download Hi-Res photo

Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III explains the tradition of excellence behind command coins after passing Kendall Fuller (center) and Max Browne his own coin. Clad in #13 football jerseys, Fuller and Browne will compete in the 13th annual U.S. Army All-American Bowl, Jan. 5, 2012, in San Antonio. The players are two of six finalists in the running for the 2013 Army Player of the Year who will be recognized at a dinner the evening before the game.

Valerie Kagan and her son Sean, hold tightly to their returning 2nd Infantry Division Soldier, Sergeant First Class Jeremy Kagan, after welcome-home ceremony

December 16, 2012 - Photo by Staff Sgt. David Chapman

Valerie Kagan and her son Sean, hold tightly to their returning 2nd Infantry Division Soldier, Sergeant First Class Jeremy Kagan, after welcome-home ceremony - Download Hi-Res photo

Valerie Kagan and her son Sean, hold tightly to their returning 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division Soldier, Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy Kagan, after a welcome-home ceremony at Wilson Sports and Fitness Center, Joint Base Lewis-McChord-North, Wash., Dec. 16, 2012. Kagan was with the first group of Soldiers with 2nd Bde., 2nd Inf. Div., to redeploy from Afghanistan. His group of returning Soldiers had the good fortune to make it back home before the holidays.

Specialist Jerel Martinez (near right) and Private First Class Andrew Bemis, indirect fire infantrymen assigned to 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), fire 120mm mortar during night-fire

December 16, 2012 - Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Abram Pinnington

Specialist Jerel Martinez (near right) and Private First Class Andrew Bemis, indirect fire infantrymen assigned to 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), fire 120mm mortar during night-fire - Download Hi-Res photo

Spc. Jerel Martinez (near right) and Pfc. Andrew Bemis, indirect fire infantrymen assigned to Troop A, 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team "Rakkasans," 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), fire a 120mm mortar during a night-fire exercise at Combat Outpost Wilderness, Afghanistan, Dec. 16, 2012. The mortar team conducted the exercise in order to keep their combat skills at the highest state of readiness while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Paratroopers walk to meeting point as fellow Soldiers, Airmen and partner nation jumpers make their final decent

December 17, 2012 - Photo by Staff Sgt. Warren W. Wright Jr.

Paratroopers walk to meeting point as fellow Soldiers, Airmen and partner nation jumpers make their final decent - Download Hi-Res photo

Paratroopers walk to the meeting point as fellow Soldiers, Airmen and partner nation jumpers make their final decent in support of the 5th Quartermaster's Operation Toy Drop. The paratroopers jumped into the Alzey Drop Zone, Alzey, Germany, and donated gifts to needy children within the Kaiserslautern Military Community, Dec. 13, 2012.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Brian Boase, of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), delivers tennis balls to a military working dog while dressed as Santa Claus

Decemeber 25, 2012 - Photo by Spc. Brian Smith-Dutton

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Brian Boase, of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), delivers tennis balls to a military working dog while dressed as Santa Claus - Download Hi-Res photo

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Brian Boase, an intelligence chief, Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade Combat Team "Rakkasans," 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), delivers tennis balls to a military working dog while dressed as Santa Claus at Forward Operating Base Salerno, in Khowst Province, Afghanistan, Christmas day, Dec. 25, 2012. Boase dressed as Santa and delivered more than 200 care packages to the Soldiers and civilians of FOB Salerno for Christmas.

Private First Class Matthew Carpenter, assigned to 3rd Infantry Division, fires an AT-4, an anti-tank weapon, near Camp Buehring, Kuwait

December 30, 2012 - Photo by Sgt. Christopher Johnston

Private First Class Matthew Carpenter, assigned to 3rd Infantry Division, fires an AT-4, an anti-tank weapon, near Camp Buehring, Kuwait - Download Hi-Res photo

Pfc. Matthew Carpenter, a military police officer assigned to 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, fires an AT-4, an anti-tank weapon, at the Udairi Range Complex, near Camp Buehring, Kuwait, Dec. 20, 2012. The AT-4 is a portable, single-shot recoilless smoothbore weapon used to destroy heavily armored vehicles. Training opportunities in Kuwait prepare the Sledgehammer Brigade for possible contingencies in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.