BTS‘ Jin just had his first birthday as a soldier. And in a sweet message to fans, the newly 31-year-old star — who celebrated his birthday on Dec. 4 — expressed his gratitude while briefly reflecting on his time so far in the South Korean army, just over a week shy of his one-year enlistment anniversary.
“Hello, this is Jin,” he began in a post on Weverse, as translated from Korean to English by Google. “Thank you very much to everyone who wished me a happy birthday. I always enjoyed [livestreams] with ARMY on my birthday, but unfortunately I couldn’t enjoy it this year, which breaks my heart.”
“Even though I can’t be with you physically, please know that I am having a good time with you in my heart,” he added.
South Korean law requires all able-bodied men between ages 18-28 serve 18 to 21 months in the military. Jin became the first member of the famous K-pop group to begin his mandatory enlistment on Dec. 13, 2022, just days after he turned 30.
In January, he shared photos of himself in uniform, with CNN reporting at the time that he’d completed his five weeks of basic training and had been selected to serve as an assistant instructor at the Yeoncheon army base in northern Gyeonggi Province. A note at the bottom of his Monday (Dec. 4) Weverse message says that Jin is currently a sergeant as a result of his “outstanding military career.”
Jin’s bandmates J-Hope and Suga began their stints earlier this year. And, as announced Tuesday (Dec. 5), the remaining four members of BTS — Jimin, V, Jung Kook and RM — will be enlisting any day now.
“There’s still a lot of time left, but I’m already excited to be with you,” Jin continued in his note to fans. “Oh, and our members are going to join the army… I hope that time passes quickly and I can have a good time with the members and the ARMYs.”
“Thank you again for wishing me a happy birthday,” he concluded. “I’ll be back soon.”