The only thing dumber than using a photo of an elected official for target practice is documenting it in an incriminating video that will almost guarantee an official investigation.
That’s clearly what’s running through the mind of at least one British Army soldier in a Snapchat video that shows several British troops deployed to Afghanistan blasting away with blue simulation pistols at a enlarged photo of controversial politician Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the UK’s Labour opposition party and a key player in the country’s ongoing Brexit drama.
The cellphone footage, first posted to Snapchat with the caption ‘Happy with that,’ shows four soldiers identified by British media as members of 3rd Battalion, Parachute Regiment at the New Kabul Compound in Afghanistan’s capital city, according to Sky News defense correspondent Alistair Bunkall.
The UK Ministry of Defense confirmed the authenticity of the video and that the incident is currently under investigation.
“This behavior is totally unacceptable and falls well below the high standards the army expects,” a British Army spokesman told the New York Times on Wednesday.
While the British Army doesn’t explicitly bar contempt towards elected officials like Article 88 of the United States Uniform Code of Military Justice does — the Armed Forces Act of 2006 details only general ‘insubordination’ as a punishable offense — the activity captured in the video goes against the ostensibly apolitical character of the British military.
“The Army is, and always will be, a totally apolitical organization,” Nick Perry, commander of the 16 Air Assault Brigade Commander that includes the 3 PARA, told BBC News. “This is a serious error of judgement.”
Ironically, Bunkall reports that the footage was taken during a so-called ‘guardian angel’ force protection drill implemented by the British Army to prepare service members for VIP personal protection details.
“There are images of celebrities on the range, but as VIPs to be protected rather than shot at,” Bunkall wrote on Twitter.