Earth Day may be over (and we hope everyone contributed in their own small way) but we’re still going green for another reason.

It’s K-drama Hunks Appreciation Day — we totally didn’t just make it up — and we have scoured the interweb to find out how these actors looked like when they were in the army. The actual army, mind you, not a role they were playing.

Without further ado, let’s jump right in.


Gong Yoo

He enlisted on Jan 14, 2008, and did eight months of frontline active service before he was transferred to the Defense Media Agency. Over there, he served in the public relations department and was a DJ for the army radio station. Gong Yoo was discharged from the army in December 2009.

ALSO READ: ‘Humans are weaklings’: Gong Yoo on his takeaway from his new movie Seo Bok

Hyun Bin

He began his mandatory military service on March 7, 2011 and joined the Marine Corps, said to be the toughest branch of the army. He volunteered to join them because he had a good impression of the Marines, and despite stiff competition, managed to place in the top five per cent of the applicants.

The Marine Corps originally planned to put Hyun Bin on public relations duty but after public criticism and, reportedly, the actor’s own desire to serve on the frontlines, he was assigned to active duty instead. He was named a top marksman as well.

Hyun Bin was discharged on Dec 6, 2012.

ALSO READ: Then and now: How K-drama’s biggest leading men like Hyun Bin, Gong Yoo, Ju Ji-hoon were like

Lee Min-ho

The Boys Over Flowers star enlisted on May 12, 2017, and served as a public service officer. He was unable to serve as an active duty officer due to injuries sustained in a car crash in 2006. Min-ho was discharged on April 25, 2019.

ALSO READ: Lee Min-ho returns after military service with The King: Eternal Monarch: ‘My second chapter as an actor is starting now’

Lee Seung-gi

The boyishly handsome actor-singer enlisted on Feb 1, 2016. After a five-week training session, he was assigned to the 13th Special Mission Brigade, nicknamed the ‘Decapitation Unit’. Their members are trained to conduct unconventional warfare in enemy territory (no decapitation involved, of course) and tasked to neutralise well-protected, high-priority targets such as political and military leaders and facilities.

It was reported that Seung-gi also volunteered to undergo various training programmes — like parachuting and Krav Maga — that were not required for enlisted and administrative soldiers. Seung-gi was discharged from the army on Oct 31, 2017, where he was greeted by 400 fans.

ALSO READ: Lee Seung-gi, Lee Jong-suk, Lee Je-hoon: Who are the rising Lee-ading men of K-dramas?

Ok Taecyeon

The South Korean actor-singer was initially approved for public service due to a herniated disc. However, he underwent surgery to correct it as well as to remove metal pins in his arm from a break, and was subsequently cleared for active duty in December 2013.

He delayed his enlistment due to his heavy workload and finally enlisted on Sept 4, 2017. Tacyeon served as a military instructional assistant and rose through the ranks quickly due to his exceptional conduct. His efforts were recognised and praised by the previous South Korean Prime Minister, Lee Nak-yeon.

Due to his outstanding performance in the military, he was appointed as a Special Class Warrior by his division commander and was recognised as a model soldier by the Military Manpower Administration.

He was also nicknamed “Captain Korea” by netizens because he had a similar physique to the Marvel superhero.

ALSO READ: K-drama midseason recap: Vincenzo — details outshine plot in Netflix’s overstuffed but entertaining confection

Doh Kyung-soo

Better known by his stage name D.O., the EXO member enlisted on July 1, 2019. He was a food handler at the Capital Mechanised Infantry Division. He was also cast in the rerun of the original military musical, Return: The Promise of the Day. D.O. was discharged from the army on Jan 25, 2021.

bryanlim@asiaone.com





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