12 K-Drama Actors Who Fulfilled Military Duties Early In Their Acting Careers

If you’re an avid K-drama viewer and have garnered a lot of actors on the bias list, it can be pretty painful when they get to the point in their career when duty calls and they have to go to the military. It’s happened to a lot of us and it’s never fun having to wait 18 months (previously two years). There have been a fair share of Hallyu stars who have completed their military duties earlier on in their careers or even before they debuted, which helps in making things a little less painful for fans. It’s great not having to dread the inevitable military duty responsibilities, and you can just continue to look forward to their next project. Here are 12 of those actors who completed their service early in their careers or before they even debuted!

Park Seo Joon

Park Seo Joon debuted in 2011, appearing in Bang Yong Guk’s music video “I Remember.” His first drama role was in 2012 in the music drama “Dream High 2.” Since then, he has skyrocketed to fame. Those who became Park Seo Joon’s fans were blessed to discover the fact that he went straight to the military after high school in 2008 when he was 19 years old. He was discharged in 2010 and was able to start his career in acting.

Jung Hae In

Jung Hae In first got a taste of acting in his first year of college. Right after he finished first year, he was 21 years old and enlisted into the army. The two years in the military served as a good time for him to figure out what he wanted to do for his career. It was during this time that he decided to get into acting. Upon graduating college, Jung Hae In signed with his agency and first made an appearance in AOA Black’s music video “Moya.” His debut role was in “Bride of the Century.”

Lee Kwang Soo

Lee Kwang Soo enlisted in the army right after graduating high school. He got out in 2007 and started acting right away. The following year, he debuted in his first drama “Here He Comes,” but his big breakthrough came when he was cast in the SBS variety show “Running Man” in 2010. It’s a good thing he finished his military service so early on in his life or we might have never met him on “Running Man”!

Hwang In Yeop

Hwang In Yeop debuted in the industry in 2017 as a model and had already completed his military service by the time he started. He felt he was a bit too old to be getting into acting, but after thinking things through in the army and having a deep talk with his dad about his future, he decided to give it his all, which we’re all super thankful for.

Yoo Seung Ho

Yoo Seung Ho debuted in 1999 in a cellphone commercial when he was just six years old. In 2002, his role as Sang Woo in “The Way Home” made him a star. From that point on, Yoo Seung Ho continued to add to his long list of movies and dramas, and in 2013, he enlisted in the military at 20 years old. He was discharged in December of 2014 and continues to consistently star in dramas.

Ryu Jun Yeol

Ryu Jun Yeol went to the army in 2007 before he debuted as an actor. He was discharged in 2009 and debuted in the movie “Socialphobia” in 2015. It wasn’t until later that year that Ryu Jun Yeol rose to fame as he took on the role of Kim Jung Hwan in tvN’s “Reply 1988.”

Yoon Kyun Sang

Yoon Kyun Sang made his way in the entertainment industry as a model. He cut his modeling career short as he enlisted in the army and was discharged in 2010. In 2012, he debuted as an actor in the historical drama “Faith” and got his big break playing Lee Jong Suk‘s older brother in “Pinocchio.”

Kim Seon Ho

Kim Seon Ho debuted in 2017 through the office drama “Good Manager” and had completed his military service before then. Although Kim Seon Ho was acting long before he debuted on the small screen, it was a good thing that he completed his mandatory duty before he graced us with his presence because it would have been a painful wait!

Ji Sung

Ji Sung debuted in the drama “KAIST.” At the time, the screenwriter ended up writing in a whole new character for him because she was intrigued by his talent. He played in minor roles until his big breakthrough in 2003 when he was cast alongside Lee Byung Hun and Song Hye Kyo in the series “All In.” He continued to star in some successful dramas until he enlisted in the military in June of 2005. He was discharged on June 6, 2007. It was unfortunate that he had to take a hiatus from his acting career, but it took no time at all for him to get into the groove of things, and he has been a successful actor ever since.

Kim Jung Hyun

Kim Jung Hyun went to the Korea National University of Arts with a major in acting, so he had always known he wanted to be an actor. He decided to take a break in his University years to go to the army when he was 21 years old. In 2015, he made his debut in the movie “Overman,” and in his very first role, he was nominated for Best New Actor at the Bull Film Awards and Chunsa Film Art Awards – very impressive!

Byun Yo Han

Byun Yo Han was just 20 years old when he enlisted in the army in 2006.  His father had not wanted him to pursue his acting career until he completed his duties. He debuted in 2011 in lots of short films until his big breakthrough role in the 2014 hit series “Misaeng.” Byun Yo Han has continued to impress critics with his choice of K-dramas and amazing acting skills!

Jang Dong Yoon

Jang Dong Yoon enlisted in the military right after finishing high school in May of 2012. He was discharged on February of 2014 and started studying at Hanyang University in 2015. Jang Dong Yoon was discovered while he was on the news for helping a store clerk who was getting robbed. The following year, he debuted as an actor, and the rest is history.

Hey Soompiers, which of these actors make you thankful that you don’t have to wait for their military service? Let us know in the comments below!

binahearts is a Soompi writer whose ultimate biases are Song Joong Ki and BIGBANG, but she has been seen obsessing over Hwang In Yeop lately. She is also the author of K-POP A To Z: The Definitive K-Pop Encyclopedia.” Make sure you follow binahearts on Instagram as she journeys through her latest Korean crazes!

Currently watching: “Youn’s Stay,” “Hello! Me!,” and “She Would Never Know”
All-time favorite dramas: “Secret Garden” and “True Beauty
Looking forward to: Won Bin‘s return to the small screen

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