When are the Dates of EXO Members’ Military Enlistment?
As Korean males, all the members of EXO except Lay have to enlist for a rotation of military service before they are 30. Xiumin, the oldest member, turns 30 (29 in international age) in 2019, which means that he needs to enlist this year. Up until now, SM Entertainment hasn’t given any statements for any of the boy group’s enlistment dates, even though Xiumin is obligated to do the mandatory military service in 2019.
A lot of fans on the internet have speculated about EXO Members possible enlistment dates. In the end, they want time to prepare their hearts and tears before their oppas leave them for nearly two years to complete their service.
Though it isn’t official, most fans still think that these are the most likely enlistment dates for the members of EXO, as these dates follow each member’s last possible year to join the military.
Following this schedule, it means that EXO-L, EXO’s fandom, may have to wait until around 2025 to see the group reunite with a full member formation, quite like Super Junior, the group that is senior to EXO, and which also debuted under SM Entertainment. By then, their maknaes or youngest members of the group, Kai and Sehun, will be around 32 years old, or 31 years old using the international age system. While Xiumin, their oldest member, will be around 36 years old or 35 years old by the international system.
The members can’t all join the military service together as a team because Lay, who’s a Chinese citizen, isn’t eligible for Korean military service. Even so, Lay might be performing solo or maybe only active in China, while the others are in the military.
There’s another possibility fans have considered, which doesn’t require fans to wait too long for them to reunite as OT9. The older members, such as Xiumin, Suho, Baek-hyun, Chan-yeol, and Chen, which are the hyung-line could enlist in the military together, while EXO would be only promoting with four members. After those five are discharged in two years, the maknae-line, which are D.O, Kai, and Sehun, could join the military together while the others would be promoting the group with six members. With this enlistment schedule, fans would only need to wait around four years before EXO finally returns as a full group again.
Moments Before EXO Members’ Military Enlistment
As one of the biggest boy groups in South Korea right now, EXO’s 9 members have to go to military service according to South Korean law. They have a pretty unique and funny tradition of saying goodbye to the members. You will see a lot of photos below with the member who enlists with the rest of the members holding his bald head together. Apparently, this is a sign of goodbye and EXO‘s love for the member who will serve his mandatory military service soon. Let’s see the moments before EXO members’ military enlistment!
Kim Min Seok’s Military Enlistment
Xiumin is the first EXO member to undergo military service. According to SM Entertainment, Xiumin enlisted in the military on May 7th, 2019. He wanted to start this obligation out of the public eye. Because of that Xiumin and his agency kept the location secret to carry out their duties. In addition, the agency also did not hold any events to mark Xiumin’s departure. Before undergoing mandatory military service, Xiumin shared several selfies and messages to fans. He wrote, “I will be going for a while, goodbye for a while.”
Xiumin officially returned from the army on December 6th, 2020. He became the first EXO member to complete his military service. His first appearance after enlistment was guesting Super Junior’s Kyuhyun variety show on YouTube.
Kim Jun Myeon’s Military Enlistment
EXO leader Suho has been serving his mandatory military service since May 14th, 2020. Previously, he had expressed this through a letter he wrote to his fans, EXO-L. “I will undergo military service to do my job on May 14th. During that time, I thought, I will really miss EXO-L,” wrote Suho. Suho also added, “I hope that EXO-Ls who think about and love me every day will always be healthy. I sincerely thank you, and I love you.”
Suho was the second EXO member to enlist, following the oldest member who first served in the army in 2019. Meanwhile, Suho’s departure from serving the army was accompanied by his fans with a farewell. The EXO-Ls joined the hashtag #LetsMeetAgain_SUHO on Twitter.
What do you think about this? Which possibility do you think is better for both EXO and EXO-Ls? Leaving for the military service as a team, or going one by one and reuniting with OT9 in 2025? Then again, the agency SM Entertainment and the members are the ones who will decide what time is the best time for them to join the military. Well, whatever choice they make, it must be the best for all, so we EXO-Ls still have to support them while we can. And soon after they join the military, EXO-Ls need to be patient and wait for them to come back as a better group!