If you’re an ARMY, you may have heard about Jin‘s promotion. Now, it’s j-hope or Jung Hoseok‘s turn to be promoted to a training assistant during his mandatory military service. However, what do these ranks and tasks in the South Korean military mean for Kpop idols?
Understanding South Korean Military Ranks for Kpop Idols
Soldier ranks (‘byeong’)
In the South Korean military, there are several stages to climb the ladder, and each one signifies a degree of growth and progress. The lowest rank is ‘ideungbyeong’ or ‘ibyeong.’ This is where those who enlist learn the basics of being a soldier. In Kpop terms, we can compare this to being a trainee.
The next level is ‘ildeungbyeong’ or ‘ilbyeong.’ It’s similar to when Kpop idols make their debut, starting to gain recognition and earn their stripes. Soldiers are comparable to ‘private first class’ in other countries at this rank. Although they are still at the early stage of their army career, they have more responsibilities and leadership opportunities.
Progressing to the next step is ‘sangdeungbyeong’ or ‘sangbyeong,’ similar to when idols achieve their first music show win. This rank represents a significant step in the military hierarchy, equivalent to a corporal in other military systems. It’s a stage where the recruits have adjusted to military life and are ready to take on more important responsibilities and tasks.
Finally, ‘byeongjang’ marks the end of being a rookie soldier in the South Korean military system, where most Kpop idols stay until completing their military service. Achieving this rank is a milestone for any young Korean man and a testament to all their hard work and determination.
j-hope Got Promoted to Assistant Drill Instructor
While any ranks are important in the South Korean military, soldiers can also specialize in different areas, similar to how Kpop idols focus on singing, dancing, or rapping. Each military branch, from the Army to Air Force, offers various classes and particular roles the soldiers can pursue.
For instance, j-hope recently took on the role of a ‘jogyo,’ also known as a training camp assistant or assistant drill instructor. According to army officials on May 31 KST, j-hope has been appointed to the position at his training center, located in Wonju, Gangwon Province, home to the 36th Homeland Defense Infantry Division of the ROK army.
To obtain this position, men must demonstrate physical fitness, leadership abilities, and military knowledge. The competition for this role is fierce, with only a limited number of soldiers selected per division. Interested idols must apply during training and undergo a rigorous selection process, including physical examinations and interviews. Only those who excel and meet the strict requirements can serve as assistants.
The assistant drill instructor plays an essential role in the military, helping train new recruits and demonstrating various exercises. In this role, j-hope plays a vital part in guiding and supporting newbies during their training. He is also responsible for helping them adapt to the new environment and assisting recruits and superiors to ensure a smooth process.
Other Military Specialties
Two other specialties are ‘unjeonbyeong,’ and ‘bangsubyeong.’ While ‘unjeonbyeong’ are military drivers who learn vehicle operations, maintenance, and transportation of people, equipment, and supplies, ‘bangsubyeong’ are combat engineers trained in fort construction and mine clearance. Not only that, but the South Korean military also even offers unique roles like graphic designers.
Every class in the South Korean military is vital in ensuring the military is efficient and capable. Let’s keep supporting our Kpop idols, including j-hope, in doing their best in whatever role they take during their military service.
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