News Zone

Photo News

Enlistment like festival: A boot camp filled with 'laughter’

New culture of enlistment has been set up since its start in 2011

Touching events and exciting performances

Recruits have confidence and their families feel relief

“You, who have confidently answered the call of the country, are welcome!”

In the morning on April 9, about 8000 people have gathered in front of a boot camp in Nonsan, South Chungcheong Province. It was the day of an admission ceremony for 18-28 and 18-29 recruits. The ceremony was scheduled to start at 2:00 PM, but the boot camp was already packed with the recruits who cut their hair short and their parents in the morning. More noticeable was looks on the faces of the 'prospective recruits' and their families. They were full of hope and confidence instead of anxiety or fear about enlistment.  

When it comes to the changed atmosphere in the boot camp, a 'cultural festival for recruits on active duty' played a considerable part. The cultural festival has been hosted consistently by the Military Manpower Administration (MMA) since 2011. The early gathering of the recruits and their families before the admission ceremony started was attributed to the first cultural festival for this year.

The MMA holds the festival-type events in order to release the recruits from unclear fear and anxiety and to inspire self-respect for their fulfillment of national military service while expressing gratitude to their families. The cultural festival was held 43 times by 12 units in 2011, while it was held 43 times by 20 units last year. According to the MMA, as many as 100,000 recruits and their families and friends enjoyed the cultural festival last year.

The recruits and their families packed everywhere in the boot camp and enjoyed various events prepared by Daejeon and South Chungcheong Province Military Manpower Administration, Daejeon City, Nonsan City, and National Pension Service. Some recruits had a conversation with their parents while walking on their backs, while some of them took a picture with their families or lovers and sent a love letter.

The festive atmosphere continued in following events. A military band showed powerful drumming and trumpet performances and the Nonsan City Choir sang various celebration songs including 'C'est Si Bon medley.' The atmosphere was lightened up with flashy moves from the b-boy dance group, Big-Burst, and popular songs, including 'Nella Fantasia,' sang by Soprano Jeong Jin-ok.

The recruits showed an enthusiastic response. It seemed they have got rid of anxiety about the military they had before enlistment. “Actually I felt fear about 'whether or not I could do well in the military' before I came to the boot camp. However, my fear has gone while enjoying the cultural festival for recruits on active duty and now I feel confident I can enjoy my military life,” said Kim Min-jun, one of the recruits on that day. "People say 'Enjoy if you cannot avoid.' Like the words, I will become a real soldier protecting my country and family while enjoying my military life,” he added. 

Also, it was a time of solidifying trust in the military for the parents who should send off their sons. “The cultural festival for active duty made me have trust in the military even though I have sent off my son. I am so happy I could send him off with a smile,” said Gu Myung-suk, one of parents participated in the cultural festival.

Thanks to the cultural festival, an admission ceremony for recruits has become a 'place for celebration and encouragement.’ The MMA explained, “Various programs were developed through the civil-government-military cooperation since the start of the cultural festival. This resulted in raised self-confidence in the fulfillment of military service and the creation of social atmosphere where the people are proud of completing military duty.”

The cultural festival for recruits on active duty, which has completely changed admission ceremony scenes, will continue this year. The MMA plans to hold a cultural festival for active-duty soldiers 43 times in 22 army, air force, and marine corps units this year. “We will continue to sublimate the spot of reporting for military duty into a place with impression by offering various programs making the persons who should complete their military duty and their families feel empathized,” said Ki Chan-soo, commissioner of the MMA.

By Su-Yeol, Maeng < >

<Copyright ⓒ The Korea Defense Daily, All rights reserved>

 Enlistment like festival: A boot camp filled with 'laughter’
게시물 검색 설정