An airman of the Korean Airforce recently shared his experience online about how K-pop groups are viewed in the military.
On Reddit‘s K-pop community, r/kpop, a user under the handle OwlOfJune introduced himself as a member of the Korean Airforce, currently serving his two-year mandatory service, and offered his views of K-pop as a Korean citizen. Some other users of the well-known community asked for proof of his identity, to which he posted pictures of his uniform and his username. Before he began, he offered this quote about not confusing his views as being representative of the entire military.
“Do NOT take my words here to be representative of whole Korean and/or soldiers here though, things may or may not be different in army/navy and in different bases.”
He later went on to say that before he entered the military, he had little interest in K-pop and music in general. Only after joining the airforce did he become “crazy” about various girl groups such as GFRIEND, Lovelyz, APRIL, and OH MY GIRL, which he mentioned is a common case for many soldiers.
When it came to actually listening/watching K-pop related content, he revealed that soldiers mostly used their television sets that were available in each dormitory to watch music shows and variety shows. Many soldiers listened to K-pop with MP3 players and had 2 hours of free internet time. Some bought their music through legal sources but many others pirated their music. Lastly, purchasing merchandise and identifying with official fandoms was uncommon.
He compiled a list of the most popular groups in the airforce from general opinion. The results are listed below.
When Watching TV, The Channel Was Changed Instantly When These Groups Were On
- The majority of boy groups. (This is understandable in the military.)
Groups That They “Might As Well Watch As The TV Is On”
- Gugudan, CLC, DIA
- Momoland, Ladies’ Code, Hello Venus, f(x), T-ARA
- Girls’ Generation, Wonder Girls
- SEVENTEEN (This group came as a surprise to many. Some liked them because their songs were “funny.”)
Groups That They Change The Channel To Watch
- Red Velvet, BLACKPINK, Dreamcatcher, SONAMOO (These groups were considered as the cool girl groups.)
- LABOUM, April, Oh My Girl, Cosmic Girls, Lovelyz (These groups were considered as the cute/aegyo groups.)
- BIGBANG (This was the most liked boy group.)
Groups That They Planned In Advance To Watch During Their TV Time
- EXID, AOA, 9MUSES, Sistar (These groups were considered as the “four queen groups of sexy.”)
- MAMAMOO, APINK, DAVICHI (These groups were considered as the “talented 3 groups.”)
- AKMU, IU (Whilst not girl groups, some non-groups like these artists are popular too.)
- GFRIEND, TWICE (They would rewatch ads if these groups were on.)
- Previously I.O.I and Produce 101 (The user mentions that the show was huge in the military.)
Source: OwlOfJune from Reddit