BTS confirms future military enlistment

Globally known K-pop group to serve in military after nine years of thrilling fans


Photo courtesy of Wikimedia

After debut, award-winning albums and international fame, mamber of BTS face the next fan-dreaded K-pop milestone: the minimum 18 months of military service for each member.

After long-lasting worry, debate, and postponement, it’s official – mega-hit Korean pop group BTS is enlisting in the military.
Their label, Big Hit Music, released the announcement on Oct. 17, prompting a mixed response of surprise, dejection and gratefulness from their fans, who are also known as ARMY.
Almost all male South Korean citizens who are able-bodied are required to serve at least 18 months in the military by the age of 28.
But because of a revision of the country’s Military Service Act in December 2020, dubbed the “BTS Law,” individuals who have a significant cultural or economic impact can delay their military commitment until the age of 30, according to The New York Times.
Fast forward almost two years, and the oldest member of the seven, Jin, is turning 30 in early December.
“Group member Jin will initiate the process as soon as his schedule for his solo release is concluded at the end of October,” Big Hit wrote in their official statement on Twitter.
Jin’s solo, “The Astronaut”, was released on Oct. 28, and many are now anticipating releases from the other members before they make similar departures. Although others’ enlistment dates haven’t been announced, Big Hit has confirmed that the group’s leader, RM, will be releasing his solo album “Indigo” on Dec. 2.
Some have also speculated that two other members, Jimin and V, who are 27 and 26, respectively, also have new songs coming out in the near future.
“I really want to see a new Taehyung (V) solo,” sophomore Enne Munkhnairamdal said. “I would also like to see Jimin do more solo dances during this break like he used to.”
Others are hoping members take another popular route: acting. So far, the only one who has pursued the path is V, who played a role in the K-drama “Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth” in 2016.
“I would love to see Taehyung (V) do more acting,” senior Madeline Angeles said.
Fans have expressed concern about how the group’s song output may be affected by their military service. In addition to the fact that they must all obviously be present, their physical image and mental health also play a role in releases.
“Fans will definitely be disappointed that with BTS being in the military, they probably won’t be getting as many songs as they wanted to,” sophomore Uma Bhattarai said.
But Big Hit and BTS members themselves have assured ARMY that their concerns are unwarranted.
“If the seven BTS members feel the same way and if you guys have faith in us, we will overcome whatever happens to us in the future, and we will perform with you guys and make music,” said RM, during the group’s concert in Busan, Korea, according to Rolling Stone. “Please have faith in us.”
All BTS members will have served their military conscriptions by 2025, and until then, fans are welcome to enjoy the more than nine years’ worth of albums, shows, videos, and humor that the seven members have created.
A&E Editor Shravya Salem Sathish contributed to this story.