Celebrity News
Song Joong-ki gets called to army duty
by | August 1, 2013 | 117 Comments

Here we go, time to prepare your hankies. The 1985-ers are headed to army duty this year, and Song Joong-ki has announced that he’s due at basic training on August 27. There were some casting hopes for films and lots of offers floating around, but for the most part Song Joong-ki has known that the army would call sooner rather than later.

He did announce earlier this year that he wouldn’t ask for extensions to delay enlistment at this point, so in retrospect it seems smart not to have picked up a project and end up having to bail mid-shoot. Sadly not unheard of in dramaland. Now that there’s no longer an entertainment unit in the military, it’s equal active duty for all actors and civilians alike, and Song Joong-ki just happens to be the first celebrity who’s enlisting after the decision has been made.

No new movie aside (too bad he didn’t have enough time to pull a Lee Je-hoon and shoot stuff that could be released while he was serving), he’s leaving on as solid a platform as you can have pre-army: a conventional melo like Nice Guy, a popular film like A Werewolf Boy, and two hit sageuks Tree With Deep Roots and Sungkyunkwan Scandal. I think it’s safe to say no one will forget about him.

I figure the only way to soothe the pain is with pretty pictures, so here’s his latest photo shoot, an ad campaign for Samsonite with Monstar’s Ha Yeon-soo. I’m sure it’s just the first of many many “last photo shoots before army,” but I don’t think we’ll tire of that anytime soon.

Via TV Report, Hankook Ilbo


117 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Min

    I’m really going to miss him!

    • 1.1 sadpanda

      Is it to late to send him this:

      A Guide to Acing your Military Enlistment for K-Celebrities

      Based on the success of Hyun Bin, the perfect case study – someone who came back from enlistment even more popular than before he went in.

      1. Go right after a successful project that has wide spread popularity.

      2. Have other projects in place; releasing right before the time of enlistment, for example, a film/movie, preferably one that screens at a foreign movie festival. Give lots of press about the movie before you leave, keeping your name in the media, as well as, publicizing your impending enlistment.

      3. Have projects that come out during the enlistment period. For example CFs, Ads, and other promotions that keeps your face and name out there.

      4. Score really well on all your military pre-testing and get assigned to a prestigious unit. Make sure the press covers this. And earn kudos from young and old, men and women, fan and non-fan for being the best.

      5. Go into enlistment with hint of a broken heart. This makes people emotionally connect with you even more.

      6. Do well in Basic Training: look like a true soldier- no celebrity haircut, score well on shooting practice and all other training requirements. Make sure strategic pictures of you doing these activities – shooting, swimming, screaming topless etc. are released to the media.

      7. Give interviews (not directly), through unknown sources, about how hard you are working, helping the morale of your unit and how you are truly respected by your squadron.

      8. Make sure pictures, awards and acknowledgements show up in the press, periodically for the entire 20+ months you are away.

      9. Be the best soldier you can be – decline perks, don’t take too many vacations, and for goodness sake don’t pull a Rain, Se7en, Sangchu bonehead move and get involved in a scandal.

      10. Comeback after almost 2 years and leave people shocked, because they can’t believe it has been that long, because you never really disappeared from the media or people’s minds.

      With these steps, you would have earned so much favorability points and popularity. Your status will be greatly increased. So that upon your enlistment exit, there will be more fans at the welcome back event than there were upon entrance.

      Good Luck! Fighting!

      • 1.1.1 haiya

        good point! couldn’t be more agree.

        “Make sure strategic pictures of you doing these activities – shooting, swimming, screaming topless etc. are released to the media.”

        LOL but its true. screaming topless please.

      • 1.1.2 Sab

        lol. so true. do you happen to be a PR manager for K pop stars? 😛

      • 1.1.3 Cheryl

        LOL! Excellent list. This should be standard issue to every star heading off to basic.

      • 1.1.4 Lilly

        And do not go use prostitutes like those two who got caught.

      • 1.1.5 bd

        Also, go hardcore and enlist in the ROK Marines.

      • 1.1.6 Pakykul Gunk

        Totally agree!

  2. Joy


  3. Z

    Aw, already? I look at that face and think there is no way it could be army time for him. As adorable as I think he is, I could never get over the fact that he’s so much prettier than I am so here’s hoping Army duty mans him up a bit.

  4. TP

    Damnit, I can’t wait for 2 years…

    • 4.1 alex


  5. Rachel

    It’s one of those things that was going to happen sooner or later. Judging from other actors’ army enlistments, 2 years can pass really fast – the Korean drama scene is going to chug on relentlessly, some dramas will be good, some won’t be good, and soon enough, before you know it, he’ll be out 🙂

    • 5.1 KDaddict

      This is a good way to Think about it; It is not the way I feel tho. I wish he’d leave behind a drama that I could watch and rewatch for 2 years. Nice Guy’s script didn’t do it for me.

      I miss him already! :'(

      • 5.1.1 SuzieQ

        Just watch Sungkyunkwan Scandal multiple times.

  6. Minami

    OMG!! I can’t believe that its time to let go of him. First Yoo Seung ho then Song Joong Ki?

    That skin? Will it still be like that after 2 years?? I hope so!

    See you in two years, Joong ki!

    • 6.1 hayy

      Yo Seung Ho comeback this year, right?

      • 6.1.1 Mina

        Nope. I don’t think so. He enlist last march and Army is teoyears so he’ll be back in 2014/15 i guess???

      • 6.1.2 danna

        He’ll be back in Jan /Feb of 2015 since service is usually 22 months

        • Rovi

          I thought it was 25 months excluding the 5-6 weeks of training? Did the President lower the basic service already???

  7. cherkell

    SJK is an ’85-liner, so this is just the tip of the iceberg with the ’86ers and possibly the ’87ers following in his footsteps soon. Better buy stock in kleenex before that happens! 🙁

    Still… *bigheavysigh* See you in two years, Werewolf Boy!!!

    • 7.1 nomad

      Does that mean…Kwang Soo is leaving soon too? I’m just glad that there are old Running Man shows to rewatch. Song Joong Ki and his oh-so-obvious-crush on Song Ji Hyo is just adorable!

      • 7.1.1 SG

        I think I heard from somewhere that Lee Kwang Soo already completed his military service after his high school.

      • 7.1.2 yogurt7

        Kwang Soo already completed the military service, way before he become a celebrity, if i’m not mistaken.

  8. Kiara

    Such a great talent, I’ll miss him like crazy.
    Love his baby face but I hope he’ll have a more mature look when he returns.

  9. sweetlove618

    can you hear me crying?? will miss that adorable face.

  10. 10 sweetcloud

    Gaw that baby face, always makes me forget his real age. The army managed to turn Lee Jun Ki’s flower boy look into a more mature image with defined features so hopefully it’ll have the same “blooming” effect on SJK. I’m glad they got rid of the celebrity soldier unit, seeing how enlisting in a regular unit had such a great effect on Yoo Seung Ho’s image I think it can only be beneficial for the next celebs to enlist (and hopefully they’ll avoid any scandal)

  11. 11 True2U

    Everyone say goodbye to the baby face Song Joong-Ki, because he’s coming back a MAN. Army does wonders for them. Ex. Lee Dong Wook & Lee Jun Ki, Boy were they rip. ~.~ @.@

    http://www.jpopasia.com/i1/news/3/9780-n8rmyh8fbf.jpg (couldn’t find recent pic of him after army)


    • 11.1 azfih

      LOL loved the Lee Jun Ki pic. What a great way to comfort people around here XD

  12. 12 Minnn

    Maybe gwangsoo will enlist too~ heheh

    • 12.1 KimYoonmi

      He already went… http://www.korean-drama-guide.com/INTERVIEW-Actor-Lee-Gwang-soo.html

      • 12.1.1 nomad

        oh THANK GOD!! Thank you for letting us know!

    • 12.2 darkpurple

      if i am not mistaken,gwang soo already did his army duty before=)

    • 12.3 kristi

      His closest friends/hyungs, eg. Gwangsoo, Jo In-Sung, Im Joo-Hwan, have already completed their military services, so they’re the ones who’ll have to wait for him, for a change.

    • 12.4 the68monkey

      You certainly can’t tell by looking at his tall, lanky frame! Ha!
      (or maybe the juxtaposition with Kim Jong-kook just makes Gwang-soo look extra giraffe-like). 😛

  13. 13 Penny

    This is the first time since I started watching K-dramas that one of my biases has been called up. Everyone else that I like either went in before they were on my radar or hasn’t gone in yet. So basically this is my first “I’ll wait for you Oppa!” moment.

    Ahem! Even though I’m way too old to call him Oppa. *cough*

    I do agree that army service will hopefully make him a little less flower boy.

    • 13.1 KimYoonmi

      Namja dongsaengiya~ then… or if you want formal Song-ssi, Fighting! (but don’t get into real fighting).

      • 13.1.1 Penny

        Yes! No real fighting!

  14. 14 정남

    It’s a good time for him to enlist, He had a series of hits that will keep him in the public eye and he avoided the Celebrity Soldier debacle that has at the very least tarnished Rain’s already falling star. I’m just sticking around for his eventual haircut though haha

  15. 15 modest-goddess

    we will miss you Song Joon-ki, looking forward to your post military shower scene

  16. 16 snow_white

    aww…..will miss him a lot!!

    loved him in Sungkyunkwan Scandal and Nice Guy….

  17. 17 Shado

    Ah, so it’s Yeorim’s turn now?
    All the best and see you in 2 years!

  18. 18 sup_super_supper_

    Aww man. Knew it had to happen eventually. But that doesn’t help the sense of (temporary) loss, and sadness! Also, all those pictures make me feel it that much more keenly. Wonder how different he’ll look!

  19. 19 Waiting

    *Sigh* I got to love the kid/guy in Werewolf Boy (much respect to him for that performance) and will look forward to more great things from him when he gets out.

    Bigger sigh knowing that there is a very long list of 85, 86, 87 that will be heading in soon. I do wish more of them would have projects in the can that can be released during the time they serve. But I guess outside of films and music, live shooting dramas would not be possible.

    Here’s to hoping all celebrity and civilian soldiers everywhere stay safe and healthy while serving. We are rooting for you!

  20. 20 Kay

    Aw man…so depressing…I’m going to miss him…..I feel like how I felt when Gong Yoo had to go for the army…but he was back as if 2 years hadn’t even gone by so I know Joong ki will be back too T^T

  21. 21 melbeek

    What is Giraffe going to do without Werewolf Boy?! * pat pat Giraffe *

    • 21.1 Rovi

      Have some fun times with the Commander/Sparta-Kooks. XD

  22. 22 kristi

    The one “upside” to this confirmation is that it is confirmation, in the sense that there have been enough clues in the last couple of months pointing to his enlisting sooner rather than later. I’ve already been through denial-bargaining-depression-acceptance for some time (minus the anger–it’s not like he can choose not to go), a bombshell announcement would have made it that much more difficult. But that’s my problem.

    I have no doubt he’ll handle this challenge with the same maturity, dedication and grace I’ve always seen from him. I feel privileged to have watched him blossom as an actor, and I look forward to these new chapters in his life and career.

  23. 23 crazedlu

    Waaaaaaaahhh! I usually don’t care too much when actors get ready to serve, but this time, it’s Song Joongki! I know I’ll start caring more because the group of actors I like are starting to hit that age when the military comes calling.

    Fare thee well, Song Joongki. Can’t wait for your return.

  24. 24 jomo

    I am sad. Very very sad.

    Usually, I look forward to the post army abs, but with this one? Not sure that is what I want to see from him.
    He’s manly in his own way, I want him to stay unique in that. Remember the black outfit with the long coat and slim jeans? He was so very hot there. No abs necessary.

    I will miss him, but send him all the good will I have to come back safe and better.

    • 24.1 pogo

      Usually, I look forward to the post army abs, but with this one? Not sure that is what I want to see from him.

      So true. He looks young, but at the same time he can play mature characters around his own age – rather ‘boyish mature’ characters, if you will (like Kang Maru) which is a wee bit unusual in dramaland.

      • 24.1.1 bd

        SJK has a BOYISH look which is not to be confused w/ a feminine or androgynous look.

        • pogo

          ….and ‘boyish’ is exactly the word I used, too, nowhere did I say he looked girly or androgynous. Not sure what this comment is about.

  25. 25 Madi

    It’d be cute if Lee Kwang-Soo enlisted too. It’d be so adorable if they ended up in the same battalion (or whatever it’s called).

    • 25.1 queen bee

      Nice idea :), but Lee Kwang-soo has already done his army duty.

  26. 26 queen bee

    Oh, Song Joong-ki. 🙁 And just when your career was taking off! *sob*

  27. 27 Ah Mi Na

    So cute. THat girl has a small head.

  28. 28 kDkiddo

    Omg! My oppa ! Does anybody hate this army inlistmebt more than I do !
    Soes that mean that in too years min ho oppa is also inlisting ! My heart sank ! Before two years

    • 28.1 Rovi

      What can they do? They have a douchebag warfreak for a neighbor up the north.

      • 28.1.1 liza

        You have said it,

        I have never felt sad when someone I like goes into the arm forces, enlistment should be viewed as an honor, a way of honoring the sacrifices made by those who lost their lives in the war before so that they could be ” free” of the communist yoke. By doing this small bit, it sends a message to the North that the South is prepared if it ever comes to a war and ergo, a strong deterent against any potential foolhardiness by the North, more so now, that the North’s leader has a severe case of Napoleon’s Complex.

        All the celebrities who went and abuse the breaks they never should have been given in the first place have no honor.

        In my neck of the wood’s there is a saying,( difficult to translate into english ) ” prettiness is not a true measure of the character of a person”

        This is a very truncated version of what I want to write
        but the idea is there.

  29. 29 chibi

    It’s the first time I actually got affected by an actor enlisting. Song Joong Ki oppa! Such a big fan ever since his Running Man days!!! I’m gonna miss you so much! I can’t believe I will have graduated by the time you come back! Fighting oppa! 2015 seems like such a long time away T_T

  30. 30 YY


  31. 31 pogo

    *sob* goodbye, my darling! Here’s hoping these two years go by like the wind, and then he returns to us hotter than ever. He’s one of the most talented actors of his generation, and I have no doubt he’ll continue to do great things, even with the enforced break.

    (and one of the things on the to-do list should be working with Ha Yeon-soo for real, in a drama or movie – they look GOOD together!)

    • 31.1 superficial

      There seems to be an effort by Ha Yeon-soo’s stylist to KOREANIZE her. She looked refreshing, exotic and very attractive just the way she is – wavy hair, dark skin tone, big eyes, button nose – in the first episodes of Monstar.

  32. 32 Tushi

    Maybe i wont feel such a perv when he comes back a man.

    Gonna miss him 🙁

  33. 33 Arhazivory

    Ah~ My Chingu is leaving for the army. I knew this would come soon. With the 1985’ers leaving, it means the next batch will all be my dongsaengs like Seung Gi.

    *cries in a corner*

    • 33.1 pogo

      I’m an ’84-er so he’s actually the first dongsaeng-age actor to go off into the military, for me – ow quickly they grow up 🙁

  34. 34 Heidi

    Oppa, an after-army-with-abs-photoshot is a must. Just think of your fans. 😀

    Does this means that maybe next year it will be Joo Won enlisted? Or has he already been in the army? I don’t think so. He has sooooo boyish look and behavior to been already in the army.

  35. 35 Miky

    Ahhhhhhhhhh 2 years without him will be long for sure,and i have the feeling that soon other will join him as well,like almost all my favorites need to go to army soon…Seung Gi soon as well…

  36. 36 Mawiie

    Awww I saw it coming but it still hurts 🙁

    But…after that it’ll be the 86’s… then the 87 (omg.. Lee Min Ho & Seung Gi I will diiiiiiie)

    And I’ve always meant to ask: what exactly was the purpose of the celebrity division? Was it some kind of PR division, or really just a star treatment?

    • 36.1 kristi

      They’ve always used celebrities for PR, the division just made it easier/more manageable and, inevitably, more susceptible to corruption.

    • 36.2 soprection

      It was sort of a PR division. It was meant to boost the image of the army (ironically) and also to raise the morale of the currently serving soldiers. Naturally it ended up doing the opposite so it’s no surprise they decided to get rid of it.

      This is from the official statement of the Defense Ministry when they announced that they were abolishing it – “The promotional support brigade was set up to promote the military and raise the morale of soldiers”.

      • 36.2.1 Quiet Thought

        A poorly thought out solution to not-that-severe a problem, I’m sure. The American peacetime draft worked well for about a decade, until the Vietnam war. When everyone began to notice that any middle-class kid whose parents could afford to send him to college could skip the obligation, even while a generation of working-class sons were being killed and mutilated–physically and emotionally–in an endless war. Obvious privilege is poison to a conscript army.

      • 36.2.2 Quiet Thought

        . . . There was an even more obvious parallel that not many people understood at the time. Since National Guard units were not mobilized for the war, and were under state control, any chaebol with enough corrupt political pull could get their son into a guard unit that would never get called to service . . . as with the Bush family of Texas.

  37. 37 Danna

    Right on schedule, I was expecting August…still sad though…on the bright side, he’ll be back just as the 87’ers leave which is when I’ll be buying tablecloth sized hankies…there aren’t that many 85ers though? Are there…i can only think of him, Lee Min Ki, Lee Tae sang

    • 37.1 The Real CZ

      Park Ki Woong is another 85er that comes to mind. I’m sure there are others, but I can’t think of them right now.

      • 37.1.1 정남

        When I first glanced at your comment I read 85er as BS’er haha I thought there was some juicy gossip I had not yet heard of

    • 37.2 kristi

      Lee Min-Ki and Choi Jin-Hyuk are the oldest of the 85ers, but you’re right, there aren’t that many of them in k-ent., which if I’m not mistaken is one of the things that bonded SJK and Lee Gwang-Soo.

  38. 38 Cam

    Omo omo omo….OUCH. Can’t believe that time flies by!

    I still have couple of years left till my college graduation, my goodness. (shakes head) YIKE~YIKE.

  39. 39 Pitch

    Aww, bye Sweetie! You´ll be missed.

  40. 40 blkasian

    I hate to see him go but think of it this way K-drama fans..by the time he comes back he will have matured enough to handle us Cougars..hahahah.

  41. 41 MayOwl

    NOOOO!!!! I knew it was coming, but still… NOOOOOO!!!!!

  42. 42 Noelle

    Aww! But also yay! Abs and shower scenes. So looking forward to that.

  43. 43 soprection

    aw, Joongki. I’ll miss him. I’ve actually never seen him act but I’ve seen him on other shows and he seems like a sweet guy. I really hope he’ll stay safe and that those two years will go by fast. I guess I might as well wait and watch Werewolf Boy after he’s gone so I won’t miss him as much.

  44. 44 SJ

    i miss him already! he’s such a sweetheart! one consolation is time flies & before we know it DB will cover his return on this blog from the military just like the others Rain, Kim nam gil, Kim ji hoon, Hyun Bin et al to name a few! Another thing is it’s better for these young actors to go now than later, that way their hotness when they come back are still fresh in our minds!

  45. 45 kdramalover

    Khaji ma khaji ma ……

    thats the first thing came out of mouth when i first saw the news at akp….

    its been few hours but still my heart can yet let him go….Oppa We surely gonna miss you ….I hope Song joong ki will come back as man…i think i had a six sence that some thing was up as he was not taking up any drama or movie…But i will wait and look for your comeback…btw i hope jaejoong and junsu dont leave yet as my heart can take this much pain…


  46. 46 Abbie

    No, Oppa, NO! Okay got that out of my system. I’ll miss this guy. He’ll be missed by many, I’m sure. This is sad. Really sad. I didn’t think I’d feel sad when it was time for him to go serve. I’m kind of in shock. Why is there no entertainment unit in the military anymore? What does that mean for the entertainers who are already serving? I mean, I thought that entertainment unit was kind of stupid (what makes their lives any more precious than the other boys who are serving?) but why’d they get rid of it?

    Oh well, so long, Joong-ki-oppa. Come back safely!

    • 46.1 Tartani

      The celebrity soldier thing was always stupid, unfair and people hated it, but it didn’t attract too much hate until Rain’s scandal with KTH, the unfair vacation time he had and etc became public. Then came Sangchu and Se7en who went to a massage parlor and people got really pissed off. Lot’s of complaining and they finally got rid of the stupid system and the guys who abused the system got jailed (though only for like 10 days.) Those in the celeb unit just transferred to a normal unit.
      That said, I’ll miss SJK big time as well. Too bad he couldn’t do one more project before his service.

      • 46.1.1 Abbie

        I’d heard of the Rain and KTH thing, and that Se7en and Sangchu and several others had been jailed for going to a massage parlor, but I didn’t know that all that had led to this. Half of me is glad they got rid of it, and half of me isn’t, because several actors and idols I like are in the military now. I hope they all come back safely! The time will fly by before we know it!

      • 46.1.2 bd

        Yep – stupid and unfair and it’s not like the conscripts were aching to see male celebs on stage.

  47. 47 bunni3

    *with all tissues gone*
    I’m really gonna miss seeing him on screen. I’ll just make use of what I have right now until he’s back (Innocent Man, Sungkyungkwan, Werewolf Boy)
    See him in 2 years then.

  48. 48 glirzmadrb

    Oh noes! When he was starting to get popular!

  49. 49 pandamonium17

    My heart just broke into a million pieces :'(
    I can’t believe that the next time I see him, I will be 19! You’ll always be in my heart Joong-Ki! I will patiently wait for your return 😀

  50. 50 cheekbones

    Ah, it’s regrettable that he can’t join the Bong Joon-ho project. Perhaps next time……

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