From concerts to combat

BTS enlists in the military leaving fans shocked


Upadya Jayampathi

BTS Proof Album came out in 2022

Just a few months ago, Big Hit Entertainment announced that Bangtan Sonyeondan better known as BTS would be putting their music career on pause to complete their mandatory military service to their country.

In South Korea, the military draft for males starts at the age of 18, but this can be postponed until the age of 28 to 30. South Korea requires all able-bodied men to serve in the military for at least 18 months or up to two years. South Korea uses this mandatory military service, also known as the conscription system, to ensure their country is safe from their neighboring country, North Korea.

This news shocked BTS fans, who are also known as “armies”, like world history teacher Kendra Parker.

“Initially, I was very sad about it because I love them, but I think it is right for them. I think they’re being very strategic about how they’re doing it and why they’re doing it,” Parker said.

Another “Army”, sophomore Aya Alumkhtar, believes that it is good that BTS is leaving to serve their country.

“I am sad that they are leaving, but happy and proud of them for making their own decision instead of the government making it for them,” Aya Almukhtar said.

According to Almukhtar, BTS made their own decision to join the military and fulfill their time without the government forcing them to do it.

“The government talked about whether they should get an exemption or like a lower service thing or should they just go, and they just said they were gonna go.” Almukhtar said.

BTS is the most influential boy group in K-pop, and they even made the government question if they should have to participate in the mandatory military services at all. However, the members of BTS inevitably did decide that they should not make an exemption for them just because they are celebrities.

BTS leaving for the military also means that South Korea’s economy might face a decline. Between 2014 and 2023, BTS would have contributed 29.1 trillion in revenue to the South Korean economy. Parker also believes that the K-pop band’s fandom will lose a little bit of popularity because the group won’t be producing any music throughout that time period.

“I think it’ll see some decrease because they’re not putting out new content but they’ll be back,” Parker said.

The South Korean government has also received criticism for their decision to send the boys to the military. This pushback is mainly coming from the BTS stans.

“We have no business bullying the South Korean government because BTS is going to the military,” Parker said. “It is not our place, especially not our place.”