That moment a British soldier realizes he probably shouldn't be using an elected official for target practice


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.

SEE ALSO: That Moment A Guardsman Realized: 'If My Unit Sees That, I'm Dead'

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Ryan Kules

Editor's note: A combat wounded veteran, Ryan served in the U.S. Army as an armor officer assigned to 1st Battalion, 13th Armor Regiment. While deployed to Iraq in 2005, his vehicle was hit with an improvised explosive device buried in the road. He works as the Wounded Warrior Project's national Combat Stress Recovery Program director.

On Nov. 29, 2005, my life changed forever. I was a 24-year-old U.S. Army armor captain deployed to Taji, Iraq, when my vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. On that day, I lost two of my soldiers, Sgts. Jerry Mills and Donald Hasse, and I lost my right arm and left leg.

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(U.S. Marine Corps photo)

CAMP PENDLETON — Susan and Michael McDowell attended a memorial in June for their son, 1st Lt. Conor McDowell. Kathleen Isabel Bourque, the love of Conor's life, joined them. None of them had anticipated what they would be going through.

Conor, the McDowells' only child, was killed during a vehicle rollover accident in the Las Pulgas area of Camp Pendleton during routine Marine training on May 9. He was 24.

Just weeks before that emotional ceremony, Alexandrina Braica, her husband and five children attended a similar memorial at the same military base, this to honor Staff Sgt. Joshua Braica, a member of the 1st Marine Raider Battalion who also was killed in a rollover accident, April 13, at age 29.

Braica, of Sacramento, was married and had a 4 1/2-month-old son.

"To see the love they had for Josh and to see the respect and appreciation was very emotional," Alexandrina Braica said of the battalion. "They spoke very highly of him and what a great leader he was. One of his commanders said, 'He was already the man he was because of the way he was raised.' As parents, we were given some credit."

While the tributes helped the McDowells and Braicas process their grief, the families remain unclear about what caused the training fatalities. They expected their sons eventually would deploy and put their lives at risk, but they didn't expect either would die while training on base.

"We're all still in denial, 'Did this really happen? Is he really gone?' Braica said. "When I got the phone call, Josh was not on my mind. That's why we were at peace. He was always in training and I never felt that it would happen at Camp Pendleton."

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(Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

SEOUL (Reuters) - The United States looks set to break a promise not to hold military exercises with South Korea, putting talks aimed at getting North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons at risk, the North Korean Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

The United States' pattern of "unilaterally reneging on its commitments" is leading Pyongyang to reconsider its own commitments to discontinue tests of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), the ministry said in a pair of statements released through state news agency KCNA.

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(Courtesy of Roman Sabal)

A deported Marine Corps veteran who has been unable to come back to the U.S. for more than a decade was denied entry to the country Monday morning when he asked to be let in for a scheduled citizenship interview.

Roman Sabal, 58, originally from Belize, came to the San Ysidro Port of Entry around 7:30 on Monday morning with an attorney to ask for "parole" to attend his naturalization interview scheduled for a little before noon in downtown San Diego. Border officials have the authority to temporarily allow people into the country on parole for "humanitarian or significant public benefit" reasons.

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Jeff Schogol

Navy Secretary Richard Spencer took the reins at the Pentagon on Monday, becoming the third acting defense secretary since January.

Spencer is expected to temporarily lead the Pentagon while the Senate considers Army Secretary Mark Esper's nomination to succeed James Mattis as defense secretary. The Senate officially received Esper's nomination on Monday.

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