BTS Military Enlistment

Kooper Sutherland, Author

A bombshell has been dropped on music fans across the world as all seven members of the globally mega-popular K-pop band BTS will be serving in the South Korean military. The band’s label and management company, Big Hit, announced this on Monday, October 31. Big Hit informed fans that BTS plans to come back together as a group in a few years around 2025, after the seven band members have completed their service.

“Since the creation of BTS over ten years ago, the band has risen to international success, broken records, and catapulted K-Pop into the global stratosphere,” stated Big Hit.

The first BTS member to enter the military will be the group’s oldest performer: Kim Seok-Jin, better known to fans as simply, Jin. The 29-year-old plans to enlist as soon as his solo project, soon to be called “The Astronaut,” is rolled out later this month.

Under South Korea’s rules, the country requires all able-bodied men to serve at least two and a half years in the armed forces by age 28, largely in part to ongoing threats from North Korea. There are exemptions available for certain athletes and performing artists, especially those working in classical and traditional music.

When Jin turned 28 in 2020, the government offered him a tw0-year delay in entering the army in recognition of BTS’s efforts in putting South Korea on the “musical map.” He was one of the first K-pop stars to be offered such a reprieve.

In June of 2022, the band announced via video interview that it was taking a break of then-unspecified length. In that video, the group’s rapper Kim Nam-Joon, also known as RM, said that after 10 years of living as BTS and working on all our schedules, it’s physically impossible for me to mature anymore. 

Either way the ball rolls, as BTS goes into service in the military, fans wish them the best.