Four members of the K-pop group BTS are getting ready to start their mandatory military service in South Korea. Jung Kook and Jimin will enlist together as "companion soldiers" while RM and V will serve on their own. The group's three other members – Jin, J-Hope and Suga – have already begun their service.
"Thank you to the fans who always love BTS. We would like to provide follow-up information regarding the military enlistment of RM, Jimin, V, and Jung Kook," the group's management company Bighit Music said in a social media post on Dec. 4. "RM, Jimin, V, and Jung Kook are enlisting as active-duty soldiers in the Army to fulfill their military service obligations."
All male South Korean citizens are required to serve their country for at least 18 months.
Although the statement doesn't include an exact enlistment date for the musicians, it does have some details about what the process will look like: "RM and V are scheduled to enlist according to their own procedures, and Jimin and Jung Kook are scheduled to enlist together, so there will be no separate official event on the day of their entry into the recruit training center."
Jung Kook and Jimin will enroll under the South Korean military's "companion soldier" buddy system, Koreaboo reported. This means they will be sent to the same basic training center. They'll then be housed in the same building and discharged at the same time.
Many BTS fans on social media found this heartwarming. "They’ll have each other the whole time… I’m literally sobbing," one said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. In the past, fans have fantasized about a fictitious romantic relationship between Jung Kook and Jimin. This practice known as "shipping" is common in some fandoms. "Now that it’s official, i really hope people show the bare minimum of respect for their decision of enlisting together," another X user said. "This is not about them as a ship, this is about them as two people who support, trust and rely on each other. it was their choice, accept it."
Bighit also noted that fans should not expect to be part of the enlistment ceremony. "The entrance ceremony is a time to be observed by military personnel and their families only," the company said. "To prevent any issues that might occur from crowding, fans are advised to refrain from visiting the site. Please convey your warm regards and encouragement in your hearts only."
The note included a warning about fraudulent schemes related to BTS. "We also advise you not to get adversely affected by purchasing unauthorized tours or product packages that illegally use the artist's (intellectual property)," Bighit said. "Our company will take necessary action against any attempts at commercial activity making unauthorized use of such IP."
BTS formed in the South Korean capitol of Seoul in 2010. The band has been on a hiatus since last year due to the mandatory military service. That's expected to last through 2025. Several members have released solo projects in recent months. Jimin dropped his mini-album Face in March and released an accompanying documentary in October. Jung Kook released his LP Golden earlier this month, V dropped his album Layover in September, and RM put out an LP called Indigo last December.
"We ask for your continued love and support for RM, Jimin, V and Jung Kook until they complete their military service and return," Bighit said. "Our company will also strive to provide all the support they need during this time."