Boom Took 150 Vacation Days Off While in the Military – Questions of Fairness Arise
The issue of Boom’s long vacation time while in the military- four times as long as the normal solider- has been raised to concern.
On September 19, Shin Hak Yong of the National Defense Committee revealed results for efficiency rating, physical training, shooting points, awarded vacation time, and analysis of discipline of enlisted celebrity soldiers from 2008 to the present.
The results showed that Boom received 150 days of vacation time during his enlistment. Other celebrities like Dynamic Duo’s Choija and Gaeko received 129 days and 117 days, respectively. Shinhwa’s Andy, who is expecting to complete his military service next month, received 110 days off. Upon viewing these results, Mr. Shin stated, “Even though they are special because they are celebrities, this is not fair. Each vacation time is very difficultly earned for normal soldiers- this is a little bit too much.”
During Boom’s service of one year and ten months (665 days), 22.5% of that time was spent on vacation. Regular soldiers only get 35 days total. So Boom’s vacation time was four times as long. Normal soldiers can’t even dream of this happening to them.
People are saying, “On the day of Boom’s discharge, they allowed and welcomed TV broadcast. Every TV program that Boom appeared in, he spoke about stories of the army. How can this be?” “If you subtract Boom’s vacation days from his enlistment time, I’m doubting if he really had a legitimate miltary service.” “I’m feeling betrayed since Boom tells so many stories about the army in all the TV programs.”
On the other hand, the Ministry of National Defense is saying, “Celebrity soldiers work as supporters and advertisers of national defense. Their awarded vacation time is based on their rank and they are in line with the military service regulations. The national defense support team usually goes overseas to fulfill their duties- the more you do overseas work, the more chances you have for a higher rank. That is probably why they had more vacation days than regular, normal soldiers. However, the Ministry of National Defense will take these matters into consideration and try to come up with a fair and reasonable vacation time for every soldier, regardless of who they are.”
Representatives of Boom’s entertainment company are saying, “Even though he was on vacation, there were many instances where the troops called him back to do work,” “150 days is the official number of vacation days but the amount of time Boom really relaxed and enjoyed his vacation is way shorter than that.”
The army is a pretty touchy subject in Korea. Do you think celebrities get special treatment- and if they do, is it fair?