Image Source: Getty / Han Myung-Gu / GC Images
It’s an emotional day for BTS and their ARMY as the group’s oldest member, Jin, officially enlisted in the Korean military on Dec. 13.
In the leadup to Jin reporting for duty, Big Hit announced he would enlist quietly, sharing in a Dec. 5 Weverse statement that the label would “not be holding any kind of official event on the day of his recruitment” and stressing that the “entrance ceremony is a time to be observed by military personnel and their families only.” For this reason, Big Hit asked fans and members of the general public to “refrain from visiting the site,” warning them about those who would attempt to profit off Jin’s enlistment through unauthorized tours in the area and product packages. Big Hit asked ARMY to keep their “heartwarming words of support and farewell in your hearts.”
Fans have been immensely supportive of their request. In a video translated by Twitter user @syubjim, reporters on site were heard marveling over the fact that fans didn’t show up in droves to see Jin off. “The fans are really not coming?” one man asked, to which the other responded, “Well, he told them not to come . . . BTS fans are good at keeping order more than people think, at the airport too.”
Fans have kept their love and support on social media, where, on Dec. 11, Jin shared a photo of his newly shaved head with the playful caption, “Cuter than I thought,” on Weverse. Then, on Dec. 12, Jin posted once more on Weverse, writing, “Now, it’s curtain call time. (I wanted to say this when I go to the army.) (Game character Jin’s line.)” Fans were encouraged, knowing Jin’s humor is as strong as ever at this time.
On Dec. 13, BTS came together to see Jin off, sharing a photo of the seven casually dressed members huddled around Jin. In a second photo, the members playfully gathered around him, holding his shaved head. While masks covered their mouths, they all seemed in good spirits based on their eye smiles. The caption of the post translates to, “Our hyung !! Go and come back well!! 💜 love you 💜,” according to a translation by @BTStranslation_.
This moment is emotional for fans, as it marks the final real-time OT7 moment fans will see for quite some time.
All able-bodied men between 18 and 28 must serve around two years in South Korea’s military. The band were granted a deferral in 2020, however, allowing them to delay their duties until the age of 30. On Oct. 17, Big Hit announced all seven members of the group would carry out their military duty in turn, ending years of speculation about whether BTS would have to enlist as the Korean government weighed possible alternative options to traditional service for the global superstars (an official decision for which was expected to come by the end of 2022).
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