July 12, 2023
SEOUL – Jin of BTS announced on Weverse, a social platform the band uses to communicate with fans, that he was promoted to corporal two months earlier than scheduled after receiving the “elite soldier” title.
In South Korea, all men deemed physically eligible between the ages of 18 and 35 are required to serve in the military.
Jin is currently serving as an assistant instructor at a front-line infantry division boot camp in Yeoncheon, Gyeonggi Province, since last December. He was the first of BTS to begin national service, and his discharge date is set for June 12, 2024.
Originally, his promotion was to come this September, but his promotion came early because of the title he received for his outstanding performance.
Elite soldier is an honorary title given to soldiers who excel in seven types of training, including a 3 kilometer race, shooting, first aid, vigilance, CBR training and individual combat. Jin is reported to have received the title for his outstanding physical performance and his social and amiable personality.
Soldiers who receive the title wear a special emblem on uniforms, get opportunities for early promotion and take extra leaves.
Jin also teased J-hope, one of his bandmates who joined the military in April, in a message in Korea that translates to “If you don’t get the elite soldier (title), you will be the disgrace of BTS.”
The message was translated as “If you don’t get the special forces, you’ll be ashamed of BTS,” by the automatic translation function of Weverse.
J-hope is currently serving as an assistant instructor at a boot camp of the 36th Infantry Division in Wonju, Gangwon Province.
His discharge date is set for Oct. 17, 2024.
Despite the heated public dispute over a possible military exemption for K-pop stars, all BTS members have stated they will serve the country. The band’s five other members are expected to serve soon.