Suga, the rapper and songwriter from the South Korean boy band BTS, is set to commence his military service on September 22, 2023. Unlike traditional combat service, Suga, who is 30 years old, will be fulfilling his military duty through an alternative service.
In South Korea, mandatory military service is compulsory for all able-bodied men before the age of thirty, typically lasting around two years. However, individuals with health issues are assigned to alternative service roles. These roles encompass a wide range of positions in various government agencies and welfare institutions, such as schools, government offices, nursing homes, and subway stations.
The term of service for positions within alternative service is slightly longer than standard military service, totaling 21 months, which includes three weeks of basic military training.
It is speculated that Suga’s previous surgery in 2020 to repair a torn labrum may have contributed to his exemption from combat duties.
While Korea JoongAng Daily reported in December of the previous year that Suga would fulfill his military service as a social service agent, there has been no official confirmation from Bighit or the artist himself.
The topic of military enlistment for BTS members has long been a subject of debate in South Korea. Nevertheless, the group has consistently conveyed their commitment to responding to the nation’s call when duty beckons.
Until 2013, the South Korean military operated an “entertainment soldier” system, where soldiers were responsible for producing radio and TV content that promoted military ideals. However, due to complaints of unfairness, this system was discontinued.
As for Suga’s bandmates, Jin and J-Hope have already embarked on their military journeys, both undertaking combat roles. Jin, who began his military service on December 13, 2022, serves as an Assistant Drill Instructor under the 5th Infantry Division in Yeoncheon. Meanwhile, J-Hope, who commenced his service on February 26, 2023, has been selected as an assistant instructor at the 36th Infantry Division Recruit Training Center.
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