Two BTS members, RM and V, have started their compulsory military service in South Korea, with two other bandmates soon expected to follow. The entire group plans to reunite in 2025 after completing their service.
BTS Members Begin Mandatory Military Service
RM and V of the K-pop band BTS have officially commenced their mandatory military service in South Korea, under the country’s conscription law. This comes ahead of the expected enlistment of two other bandmates, Jimin and Jung Kook.
Status of Other BTS Members
Jin, J-Hope, and Suga, the other three members of BTS, are already several months into their respective military duties. The entire group plans to regroup and continue activities in 2025, upon completion of their service.
Details of RM and V’s Service Commencement
According to the band’s management company, RM and V arrived at an army boot camp in Nonsan to begin their 18-month compulsory service. After undergoing five weeks of combat training, they will be assigned specific units and duties.
Public Debate and Exemptions
Last year, there was a heated public debate regarding whether BTS members should be exempt from military service due to their artistic achievements. Ultimately, it was announced that all seven members would fulfill their military duties without exemption.
Realities of Military Service for Entertainers
Despite past accusations of preferential treatment, recent accounts from individuals who trained alongside K-pop stars suggest that entertainers undergo the same rigorous routines as other conscripts, such as combat training and military lectures.
Impact of BTS and K-pop Globally
BTS and K-pop have achieved global acclaim, with the band amassing a dedicated fanbase known as the “Army.” BTS has made significant strides in the Western music market and has been recognized on international platforms, including speaking at United Nations meetings.
Sensitive Nature of Mandatory Military Service
In South Korea, mandatory military service is a contentious issue, particularly as it disrupts the education and careers of young men. The debate around exemptions and the impact on individuals in a competitive job market has sparked significant societal discussions.