Xhyniie has been a K-pop fan since 2010 and a K-drama fan since 2000. She enjoys writing about the Korean entertainment industry.
Mandatory Military Service in South Korea
As stated in Chapter II Article 39 of the Constitution of the Republic of Korea, men are obliged for a national service. This applies only to males, aged between 18 and 35; a 21 months for Army and Marine Corps, 23 months for Navy, 24 months for Air Force. In contrary, women are allowed to enroll in the Reserve Officers Training Corps as of 2010.
As of today, the country is currently holding the record of the longest military service periods in the world, ranked behind Israel, Singapore and North Korea. In the past years, the public are requesting either a shortening of the term or a switch to voluntary military service, and from experts calling for a gradual phasing out rather than complete abolition. But after taking into consideration of the 2010 ROKS Cheonan sinking and Bombardment of Yeonpyeong incidents, the government confirmed that there will be no reduction of service periods.
Military Service Exemptions
Korean male citizens with physical disabilities or whose mental status is unstable or questionable are exempted in the service. When a Korean man becomes of legal age, he is required to take a physical check-up to determine whether he is suitable for military service. Every male is labeled into one of four different grades:
- Grades 1-3: normal
- Grade 4: special service; given to individuals that fulfil their military duties as a civil worker amongst civilians.
- Grade 5: civil defence during peacetime.
- Grade 6: exemption from military service in both situations.
- Grade 7: re-check-up within two years
In the current conscription laws it is said that athletes who win medals in the Olympic Games or gold medals in the Asian Games are granted exemptions but still required to do four weeks of basic training.
Korean Male Celebrities Military Service Controversies
There are also controversies wherein Korean celebrities are involved (it is like giving a special treatment to celebrities and etc.) Here are the two controversies that you might be unfamiliar with.
1. The controversy involving Korean American pop singer Steve Yoo. When he was due to be drafted for his military service, he gave up his Korean nationality and became a naturalized U.S. citizen. In response to this action, he was deported and banned from entering South Korea permanently.
2. The controversy involving actor Song Seung-heon, it was revealed in media that he had avoided his draft by taking medication to fail the military physical examination. He had previously been exempted by claiming to have severe diabetes and high blood pressure, but that was found by the South Korean government to be false. He had apologized on his behavior and agreed to serve his two year military service. He was discharged last November 15, 2006.
Korean Celebrities Who Will Probably Enlist In Military Service This 2016
How happy each one of us when we hear the news that our favorite idols/celebrities will be released from military service this 2016 but in contrary, another list of celebrities will also be enlisted this year. This might also be the year that my idol Jang Keun-suk will enlist! I’m gonna miss him on the small screen!
Who will return from Military Service this 2016?
Korean Male Celebrities Who Are Currently Enjoying Their Military Service!
Korean Male celebrities that will be discharged this year (2015)
So here are the 8 Korean Male celebrities that will be discharged this year (2015):
8. Seo Min Woo (100%) December 4, 2015
Seo Min-woo is a South Korean idol singer, actor, promotional model and a dancer. He is a member of South Korean boy group "100%" under the label of TOP Media, as the leader and vocalist.
He enlisted in military service last March 4 as an active duty soldier. He will finish his duty to mandatory military service after 11 months and will be discharged on December 4, 2015.
7. Lee Seung Woo (Apeace) - October 2015
Lee Seung Woo is a member of the South Korean group Apeace. He enlisted in his military service last November 7, 2013 and expected to be discharged on October 2015.
6. Heo Young Saeng (SS501) - August 2015
Heo Young Saeng is a South Korean entertainer and the lead singer and the main vocalist of boyband, SS501. He has performed in musicals as well: his debut in The Three Musketeers, playing as the role of D'Artagnan during 2011; and another in 2013 for the Summer Snow musical.
Although he is a star and part of a boyband, he also looks up to others in his industry. In particular, he is fanboying over Shinhwa, expressing his love and respect to the group. In fact, he was even encouraged to join the music industry because of Lee Min Woo, as well as joining Shinhwa's official fanclub, Shinhwa Changjo.
He enlisted on his mandatory military service last October 31, 2013 and expected to be discharged on August 2015.
5. Lee Tae Sung - August 2015
Lee Tae Sung enlisted in his mandatory military service last October 29, 2013. And because of it, his wedding ceremony will be further delayed due to this event according to an announcement made my his management company, Glory MK Entertainment. He is serving as a full-time reserve officer stationed at the 32nd division training camp in Gongju, South Chungcheong Province.
He is expecting to be discharged on August 2015.
4. Yesung (SUJU) - May 2015
Yesung is a member of the South Korean boy band Super Junior, its subgroups Super Junior-K.R.Y. & Super Junior-H, as well as the ballad group S.M. The Ballad. His stage name Yesung is derived from the Korean phrase "예술가의 성대" (lit. meaning: vocal cords of an artist) and can be translated as an "art-like voice".
He enlisted in his mandatory military service last May 6, 2013 and is expected to be discharged on May 2015.
3. Song Joong Ki - June 2015
Song Joong Ki a South Korean actor. He rose to fame with period drama Sungkyunkwan Scandal and variety show Running Man. Song played his first TV leading role in the melodrama The Innocent Man in 2012. He has also starred in feature films, most notably as the titular character in the box office hit A Werewolf Boy.
He was last seen in Korean drama after playing the role of Chul-soo in A Werewolf Boy. Song Joong Ki enlisted for his mandatory military service at the 102nd draft camp in Chuncheon on August 27, 2013. Prior to his enlistment, he held a fan meeting on August 17. He will be discharged on June 2015.
1-2. Yunheok and DK (the duo December) - January and February 2015
Yunheok (Lee Yoon Hyuk; December) duo enlisted on his military service last January 28, 2013 and is expected to discharged on January 2015.
While DK (Han Dae Kyu; December duo) enlisted on his military service last May 7, 2013 and is expected to discharged on February 2015.