The ARMY is counting down the days to BTS’ reunion, and fans will get one step closer to that highly anticipated comeback this week as SUGA is about to report to duty.
SUGA, 30, is set to follow his fellow bandmates Jin and J-Hope by completing his mandatory military service. The South Korean superstar will be “beginning his required service on September 22,” wrote BIGHIT Music, the band’s music label, on the fan community platform Weverse on September 17, reports Billboard. BIGHIT added, “There will not be any official events taking place on the day he starts his service or on the day he enters the training camp.”
Knowing how BTS’ fans – a.k.a the ARMY – might try to get a glimpse of SUGA as he begins his service, BIGHIT “kindly ask[ed]” fans to “refrain from visiting SUGA at his workplace during the period of his service.” Instead of camping out of his boot camp, fans were told to send their love to their idol from home.
“Please convey your warm regards and encouragement in your hearts only,” added BIGHIT Music. “We ask for your continued love and support for SUGA until he completes his service and returns. Our company will also strive to provide all the support he needs during this time.”
BIGHIT also made a note to anyone who might take advantage during BTS’ hiatus. “Furthermore, please be mindful to avoid getting adversely affected by unauthorized tours or package products that illegally use the artist’s intellectual property,” the company warned in its message. It noted they would “take appropriate measures against attempts at any commercial activity that make unauthorized use of artist IP.”
SUGA also reportedly went live on Weverse on the day of the announcement and said that his enlistment is not something to be sad about. “I also feel that it is a pity that I will not be able to do anything [with music] in the next two years,” he said, according to a fan’s translation. “But, we have a promise. 2025.”
The “promise” SUGA mentioned refers to the year BTS is expected to reunite. BIGHIT confirmed that the members of the K-Pop boy band – SUGA, RM, V, Jin, Jungkook, J-Hope and Jimin — would each fulfill South Korea’s requirement that all able-bodied male citizens serve in the armed forces for at least 18 months.
Male citizens are eligible to fulfill this requirement as soon as they turn 18 but can postpone it until age 28. In December 2020, the South Korean National Assembly passed the so-called “BTS law” that allowed K-pop entertainers to defer their service until 30 with a recommendation from the culture minister, per Billboard.
BTS singer Jin, 30, was the first to enlist, followed by rapper J-Hope, 29.