From Song Joong Ki To Gong Yoo: 10 Famous Korean Stars Who Served In The Military
In South Korea, there is one law that many devoted Hallyu fans love to hate: the Conscription or military enlistment law that has been around since 1957.
It requires all male citizens between ages 18 and 28 to perform military services for the country, this means that depending on the branch of the military they are in, South Korea's male stars will be out of sight for a long period of time. Typically, men assigned under the Army and Marine will have to perform their duties for 21 months; those who are assigned to the Navy will serve for 23 months, while those in the Air Force will serve for 24 months.
Listed in this article are 10 of our favourite stars who were in the military to serve their country.
1/10 Song Joong-ki
Did you know? In a 2015 editorial of the Kookbang Daily, a newspaper published by South Korea's Defense Media Agency, Song revealed that he was afraid that his celebrity status would be "viewed differently" by his comrades. The DOTS star disclosed that an unnamed commander had given him a piece of advice that allayed his fears.
“Living as a soldier made me more mature and I was able to gain valuable life’s experience,” he said.
2/10 Lee Min-ho
Name: Lee Min-ho
Military Enlistment: 2017-2019
Known For: His performances in The King: Eternal Monarch, The Heirs, Boys Over Flowers, and Legend of the Blue Sea.
Did you know? Min-ho received level six at a pre-enlistment physical examination due to the injuries he sustained in previous car accidents. One in 2006, with his friend Jung Il-woo, and again in 2011, while filming City Hunter.
See also: Netflix: 5 Reasons Why Korean Drama 'Nevertheless' Will Make You Swoon
3/10 Gong Yoo
Name: Gong Ji-cheol / Gong Yoo
Military Enlistment: 2008-2009
Known For: His performances in Train to Busan, Guardian: The Lonely And Great God, and Coffee Prince.
Did you know? During his service, the actor did active front-line duty at the South Korean border and served in the army's public relations unit. He was also able to become a DJ for the army radio station called Korean Forces Network.
4/10 Lee Jong-suk
Name: Lee Jong-suk
Military Enlistment: 2019-2021
Known For: His roles in While You Were Sleeping, Prosecutor Princess, Pinocchio, Doctor Stranger, and I Can Hear Your Voice.
Did you know? On March 8, 2019, his agency, A-Man Project, confirmed that the actor will carry out his military duties as a public service worker due to his past injuries. “Lee Jong-suk will begin his military service on March 8th as a public service worker. He will carry out his duties to the country in good faith,” his agency said.
5/10 Kim Soo-hyun
Name: Kim Soo-hyun
Military Enlistment: 2017-2019
Known For: His roles in It's Okay To Not Be Okay, My Love From Another Star, Moon Embracing The Sun and Dream High.
Did you know? Soo-hyun has attributed some of his emotional maturity to the time he spent in the military. “Before then, I felt like I was responsible for doing a certain amount, and I had this greed to make myself stand out with my acting in each scene. But after I was discharged, I learned how to fit in with the overall scheme. The environment of broadcasting is such that one person can’t fill the whole space. It’s only when you acknowledge others and blend in that you and your partner can shine," the star said in an interview.
See also: 'Kingdom: Ashin Of The North': 5 Things To Know About The Netflix Show
6/10 Hyun Bin
Name: Kim Tae-pyung / Hyun Bin
Military Enlistment: 2011-2012
Known For: His roles in It's Crash Landing On You, Hyde Jekyll, Me, and Secret Garden.
Did you know? Hyun Bin was assigned to the marines during his stay in the military. The heartthrob was recognised as an "exemplary soldier" for being able to accomplish heavy military duties.
7/10 Park Seo-joon
Name: Park Seo-joon
Military Enlistment: 2008-2010
Known For: His performances in Itaewon Class, What's Wrong with Secretary Kim?, and Fight For My Way.
Did you know? The actor immediately served in the military at 19 years old when he just finished high school. He started his acting career after he was discharged in 2010.
8/10 Woo Do-hwan
Name: Woo Do-hwan
Military Enlistment: 2020-present time
Known For: His performances in The King Eternal Monarch, My Country: The New Age, Mad Dog, and Sweet Stranger and Me.
Did you know? Before joining the military in July, Do-hwan was sent off by TKEM co-star Lee Min-ho, one of his dearest friends in the industry. “I will go and come back, Your Majesty," the actor said on his official Instagram account.
9/10 Kim Hyun-joong
Name: Kim Hyun-joong
Military Enlistment: 2015-2017
Known For: His roles in Playful Kiss, Boys Over Flowers, and Age of Feeling.
Did you know? Hyun-joong successfully completed five weeks of basic training at Gyeonggi-do 30th Recruit Training Squadron. The actor was assigned as a border patrol in the Korean Demilitarized Zone.
10/10 Jo In-sung
Name: Jo In-sung
Military Enlistment: 2009-2011
Known For: His performances in What Happened in Bali, That Winter, the Wind Blows, and It's Okay, That's Love.
Did you know? The actor reportedly joined the Air Force to follow the footsteps of his father who earlier served as a non-commissioned officer.
See also: Emart24 Malaysia: An Artisanal Slice Of South Korea Arrives In Malaysia