A SENIOR Army officer serving in Afghanistan has rounded up his troops to perform a Gangnam Style festive fundraising video.
Dozens of soldiers from 21 Engineer Regiment, which is based at Claro Barracks, Ripon, North Yorkshire, have teamed up to perform a parody of the South Korean pop hit to raise funds for Swaledale Mountain Rescue.
The regiment, which is assisting with infrastructure projects and the preparation of checkpoints to hand to the Afghan National Security Forces, has given its version of Youtube’s most watched film, a regional twist with soldiers dressed in Santa and giant turkey outfits.
The regiment’s “Afghan Style” video is thought to have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on a spectrum of sites after being posted on Youtube this week, and has already generated more than £2,800.
Major Stuart Cunane, who volunteers for the charity which covers 500 sq miles of the Yorkshire Dales, said he organised the video to be shot by the regiment’s Headquarters Squadron over the past three months during downtime and after work at Camp Bastion, in Helmand Province “to give something back to the community”.
The 47-year-old, who makes a cameo appearance in the video, said more than 50 per cent of the rescue charity’s 40 volunteers are serving or former members of the military.
He said: “It is always important that we have funds to support the equipment that we need for when members of the public get into situations of distress.”
The soldiers perform to the South Korean pop hit Gangnam Style, the music video of which has been viewed more than 971 million times on YouTube, making it the site’s most watched film.
Jill Armstrong, the charity’s fundraising officer, said the video had sparked worldwide interest in the charity.
She said: “We never imagined it would be as big as this. It is absolutely fantastic for us, both in terms of fundraising and boosting our profile.
“We have noticed it getting a little bit harder to raise funds from traditional sources and this has exposed us to a wider audience."