“I’ll have a good trip!!” the BTS member wrote on Instagram in his native Korean against a yellowed paper backdrop. Fans also got a surprise when they swiped to the next slide, with the “Arson” rapper giving a first look at his newly shorn, military-approved buzzcut. He also posted a separate message on Weverse, saying, “I love you ARMY…I’ll go and come back well,” while flashing an adorable salute to the camera.
While comments were turned off on J-Hope’s Instagram post, ARMY flooded Twitter with well-wishes and heartbroken goodbyes. “We are so proud of u, our HOPE,” one fan wrote with a trio of heart emojis while another tweeted, “My life is leaving in a second” followed by three sobbing faces.
With the start of his mandatory military service looming, J-Hope becomes the second member of the K-pop boy band to serve after Jin, who began basic training in mid-December at a military base near the tense border with North Korea. At the time, he got a sweet send-off from all six of his bandmates, and J-Hope and Jimin even got to visit him at a different military camp at the beginning of last month.
J-Hope certainly made the most of the time before he joined the military — releasing his debut solo album Jack in the Box, which debuted at No. 17 on the Billboard 200 and included hit singles “MORE” and “Arson.” He also made history by headlining Lollapalooza (as documented in his Disney+ documentary J-Hope IN THE BOX), became a house ambassador for Louis Vuitton and later collaborated with J. Cole on one-off single “On the Street.”
Check out J-Hope’s message to ARMY below.