Viral Photo of RM with Saxophone Highlights K-pop Star's Military Service

Published February 19, 2024

Rising through the internet this past Thursday was a striking image of RM, widely known as the leader of the global sensation BTS, donned in a red military band uniform while cradling a saxophone. This photograph, capturing a moment from his mandatory military service in South Korea, made waves on social media, receiving over 20,000 likes and 4,000 reposts by Monday.

Military Band Duty

In the trending photo, RM, whose birth name is Kim Nam-joon, stands with poise as part of the military band. This glimpse into RM's current life as a soldier excited fans and underscored his ongoing commitment to his military duties.

Previously, in January, both RM and his fellow band member V underwent five weeks of basic training at the Korea Army Training Center in Nonsan. Upon completing their initial training, RM was positioned in Gangwon Province and later joined the military band within his unit, based on sources from the inside.

Fulfilling National Duties

The snapshot originated from an attendee at the military's basic training completion ceremony, an event generally exclusive to soldiers' close family or specifically registered friends. It displays RM amidst a significant life event—his active fulfillment of national duty, which in South Korea, calls for all able-bodied men to serve in the military for a minimum of 18 months, primarily due to tensions with North Korea.

RM and V are anticipated to carry out their service until June 10, 2025. And while RM serves with the military band, other BTS members are also undertaking their service, some in the military and others as social service workers. Jin, the oldest of the group, will be the first to complete his service in June, paving the way for BTS to regroup fully in 2025.

K-pop, military, viral