BTS Will Serve A Whole New ARMY Soon

The South Korean army, as part of their mandatory military service.

BTS Confirmed They Will Serve Military Service In South Korea
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

It was only in June that BTS ARMYs all over the world had to process the announcement that K-pop sensation BTS were taking a temporary “hiatus.” Though keen to clarify that they weren’t disbanding (just pursuing solo projects), there is a further blow for fans. Over the next few years, all seven members of the BTS will fulfil their mandatory military service in South Korea, their agents have confirmed.

The announcement comes after a long national debate over whether the K-pop band, as one of the world’s biggest bands with over 30m albums record sales worldwide, should be except from military duties. Other prominent South Koreans have been allowed to perform “alternative public service”, like Seong-jin Cho, the first Korean pianist to win the International Chopin Piano Competition, and Tottenham FC’s Son Heung-min, who won a gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games.

As reported by the BBC, men in South Korea under the age of 28 have to serve in the military for at least 24 months. BTS members had been allowed to defer their service until they turned 30. Big Hit Music, the band’s management company, announced that all seven members intend to complete their service, adding that they are “honoured to serve” their country. Jin, 29, who is due to release his upcoming solo music at the end of the month, will be the first to enlist. The remaining six members will follow, based on their “individual plans.”

But fret not, it doesn’t mean the band won’t be around in some capacity. A spokesperson for the Korean Defence Ministry told The Korea Times that the band members will be able to take part in specific “national-level” events, even as they complete their service.

Speaking to Rolling Stone in May 2021, the band didn’t seem too concerned about enlisting. “I’m sure it will work out so that we can continue to see ARMY,” V said at the time. “About military service or what will happen, we haven’t discussed it in the specifics amongst ourselves, but I’m sure it’ll work out eventually.” And so it has.