The idea was to show troops in a more positive, light-hearted way, away from the controversies that have dogged the U.S. mission for the past several months. In February, for instance, U.S. troops "mistakenly" burned copies of the Quran at a U.S. base near Kabul, setting off nationwide protests and riots that left dozens dead. A month earlier, a leaked video online showed Marines urinating on Afghan corpses.
"It's a side of the military that you don't get to see," Raum says of the project. "Showing the human side on the other side of the rifles is a great opportunity."
Jepsen's song proved to be a perfect fit. It has already led to several famous renditions, all the way from Colin Powell to Sesame Street's Cookie Monster. There's even a mash-up of President Obama singing the tune.
"We just put our heads together and figured out what we wanted to do," he says.