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The term “BTS ARMY” may have just gotten literal. That’s right — BTS’ mandatory military enlistment is finally upon us, and according to a statement released by BigHit Music, oldest member Jin is going to be the first to go.

The news comes on the heels of BTS’ much-discussed 2022 FESTA dinner, during which the members announced they’d be shifting focus to solo activities for a while. The news is also dropping right after their BTS In Busan concert, which they held on Oct. 15 to support South Korea’s bid to host the 2030 World Expo there. Some fans have pointed out that the news was released at an unusual time (4 p.m. KST), perhaps in an attempt to delay others who might spread misinformation from reacting immediately.

If you’re unfamiliar with Korea’s military conscription rules, all able-bodied male Korean citizens between 18 and 35 years old must serve in South Korea’s military for 18 to 21 months. There are some exemptions allowed, such as award-winning athletes and classical musicians, leading the media to speculate for years whether BTS could also be exempt given their contributions to the South Korean economy.

A revised 2020 law even allowed pop culture artists the chance to postpone their mandatory service if they’ve received an Order of Cultural Merit from the president of South Korea (BTW, BTS are the only male idol group to have done so). However, BTS are effectively silencing the noise themselves with Jin canceling his postponement request, and aren’t waiting any longer to get the enlistment process started.

“After the phenomenal concert to support Busan’s bid for the World Expo 2030, and as each individual embarks on solo endeavors, it’s the perfect time and the members of BTS are honored to serve,” BigHit’s statement reads. “Group member Jin will initiate the process as soon as his schedule for his solo release is concluded at the end of October.”

The statement also noted that the other members will soon follow suit “based on their own individual plans,” but that “the members of BTS are looking forward to reconvening as a group again around 2025 following their service commitment” and “there’s much more yet to come in the years ahead from BTS.” Some fans are predicting that with Jin going first, the other members will enlist in age order (aka Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and then youngest member Jungkook).

So far, none of the individual members have responded to the news on their social media accounts, but Jin did tease more info about his solo release at the In Busan concert, telling fans that it’s a single release with an as-yet unnamed collaborator he’s “always really liked.” The members also asked their fans to trust them during the concert as they navigate this new phase for BTS, likely referring to their enlistment before the official announcement.

Naturally, the news was emotional for many ARMYs, who are now looking ahead to 2025 when BTS will come back together as a group. Here are some of the sweetest and funniest reactions to BTS and specifically Jin’s enlistment news.

Erica Kam is the Life Editor at Her Campus. She oversees the life, career, and news verticals on the site, including academics, experience, high school, money, work, and Her20s coverage. Over her six years at Her Campus, Erica has served in various editorial roles on the national team, including as the previous Culture Editor and as an editorial intern. She has also interned at Bustle Digital Group, where she covered entertainment news for Bustle and Elite Daily. She graduated in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in English and creative writing from Barnard College, where she was the senior editor of Columbia and Barnard’s Her Campus chapter and a deputy copy editor for The Columbia Spectator. When she's not writing or editing, you can find her dissecting K-pop music videos for easter eggs and rereading Jane Austen novels. She also loves exploring her home, the best city in the world — and if you think that's not NYC, she's willing to fight you on it.