BTS' Remaining Members Depart for Mandatory Military Service

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

V, RM, Jungkook and Jimin have begun their government-mandated service

BTS members V, RM, Jungkook and Jimin are reporting for duty with the South Korean military.

The four K-pop superstars followed in the footsteps of their fellow bandmates, Jin, J-hope and Suga, who are already serving their governmentally required time in the nation's armed services.

On Tuesday, V shared a message with fans on the Korean social media platform Weverse, in which he said, "I will miss you very much."

"Honestly, I regret I will not be able to make happy memories with ARMY for the time being," he wrote, referring to the collective name of the BTS fanbase. "If it weren't for that, it's all fine, but that’s the most difficult."

"After these long 18 months I will return healthier, so please take care of your health ARMY and find happiness in the day to day," he added.

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.

Jin was the first member of the group to begin military service last year, followed by J-hope, who reported for service in April. Suga was next, enlisting in September.

Bang Si-hyuk -- founder of BTS' record label, BIGHIT MUSIC -- gave an interview in March 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."