BTS' J-Hope Shows Off Buzz Cut As He Reports for Mandatory Military Service

'I'll be back in good health,' the K-pop star wrote on social media.

BTS member J-Hope is reporting for military duty. The K-pop star shared a selfie showing off his new buzz cut and a message for fans as he began his 18-month mandatory military service in South Korea on Tuesday.

"I'll be back in good health," reads the caption on his Instagram, translated from Korean. 

The artist, whose real name is Jung Ho-seok, follows in the footsteps of the group's eldest member, Jin, who began his military service in December. 

Under South Korean law, all able-bodied men are required to perform 18 to 21 months of military service. BTS members had already been granted a two-year extension on their government-mandated military service, with top-performing athletes and musicians occasionally granted exemptions.

Bang Si-hyuk -- founder of BTS' record label, BIGHIT MUSIC -- gave an interview featured last month on CNN's Quest on Business, where he addressed BTS' current slow-down from group activities amid the members' South Korean military service and made reassurances about their future plans.

"From the career's point of view, no artist would be happy to have such a long pause against their will. I think it's a separate issue from the mindset that we faithfully and gladly serve the country. Yet BTS and I were talking about this since early 2018," Bang Si-hyuk said in the interview when asked about the members' military obligations. "So it's been long discussed, and we're not done yet."

"We've been prepared to turn this into a turning point in their career," said the 50-year-old producer, who professionally goes by Hitman Bang. "It's obviously true that they needed this time of rest after such an intense period of hard work. They can't remain the BTS of today, but need to grow and change as artists."

Last summer, J-Hope released his debut solo albumJack in the Box, alongside a fiery new music video for his song, "Arson." 

According to a press release, J-Hope was "leaping out of the box," showing off new sides of himself and how much he has grown as an artist. In the first two tracks, listeners heard the story behind the origin of J-Hope's stage name, born from Greek and Roman mythology of "Pandora's Box." The dual main tracks "MORE" and "Arson" dove deeper into the artist's authentic and personal story. 

The release came as J-Hope topped Billboard's Emerging Artists chart with "MORE," becoming the fifth member of BTS to do so as a soloist. He later made history as the first Korean artist to headline the main stage at Chicago's Lollapalooza Festival.