For the first time since his enlistment, EXO‘s Chanyeol stood in front of the camera for an interview with a public news station to share a little about his experience in the army. He also sent a sweet message to fans waiting for his discharge on September 28.
During the interview, it was revealed that Chanyeol’s grandfather was an outstanding soldier, having served in both the Korean War and the Vietnam War, and was awarded the Order of Military Merit three times. Given that his grandfather served when South Korea was just establishing its roots as a country, it’s clear that Chanyeol’s grandfather was a man with great honor and courage, and he passed down his burning love for his country to his children and grandchildren.
As fate would have it, Chanyeol ended up serving in the same division as his grandfather, which encouraged Chanyeol to devote all his talent and abilities to his country during his enlistment. Before discovering that he was in the same unit as his grandfather, Chanyeol was worried about his enlistment being more out of duty than out of patriotism.
However, the stories his grandfather used to tell Chanyeol about the military are still vividly remembered by Chanyeol today, including one of how shards of a grenade were forever lodged in his grandfather’s arm, even after his time in the army. Gratitude and respect toward the military of South Korea naturally welled up in Chanyeol, and he decided to devote his whole self during his time in the army.
EXO-Ls know that Chanyeol’s passion is bright and endless, so it’s no surprise that Chanyeol earned multiple honors and promotions during his service. His hard work and dedication led him to receive an “Exemplary Soldier” Award, an award only given to the top 5 amongst over 250 trainees, and his Special Warrior status, which he earned after excelling at many grueling tests.
CHANYEOL's achievements in White Horse Unit of the 9th Infantry Division, ROKA
• Leader of the 2nd platoon.
• Received "Exemplary Soldier" Award, among >250 trainees.
• Special Warrior.
• First Private Class.
• Corporal (early promotion)
• Sergeant (early promotion) pic.twitter.com/TsCHe1OjnQ
— EXO (@exopredict) May 1, 2022
chanyeol explained that he had to excel stamina tests, first aid, CBR training (chemical/biological/radioactive weapons destruction) and shooting tests in order to get the special warrior 특급전사 title. our passionate corporal park 👍🏻pic.twitter.com/4UhbbxxIf0
— 로이큥이티비☆ (@exorijilleo) March 10, 2022
Along with his achievements with the 9th Division, Chanyeol decided to use his talents and experiences as an actor and idol to join the Military Musical unit. Landing one of the lead roles in the musical, Blue Helmet: A Song of Meissa, Chanyeol was awarded a Certificate of Merit for performing over 150 times, upholding the honor of the military and connecting the hearts of those in the military to the public through his heart-tugging performance.
#CHANYEOL's Certificate of Merit
9th Infantry Division
Sgt Park Chanyeol
"The above person is given this award after being chosen as a military actor for the musical Blue Helmet: A Song of Meissa, which gave the military such honor. Not only did his heart-thugging performance – pic.twitter.com/Y76EeXLREo
— NLNL🍒 D-14 (@no_loey_no_life) August 28, 2022
It’s a small world within the military, and during one of his shows, the director gave a shoutout to Chanyeol’s grandfather for fighting to protect South Korea so that the generations after him could freely sing and dance without the constant threat of war and violence.
"Sergeant Park #CHANYEOL's grandfather is a Korean War veteran. After entering the military, he found out that his grandfather served as a Commander in the White Horse Division. His grandfather wanted to protect our country, because he believed that by –pic.twitter.com/BwVEurLqXs
— NLNL🍒 D-14 (@no_loey_no_life) September 9, 2022
Chanyeol’s grandfather is definitely smiling and watching over Chanyeol from heaven as Chanyeol follows in his footsteps and changes the world with his kind heart and uncontainable talent. While EXO-Ls eagerly await Chanyeol’s discharge from the army, they are also incredibly proud of his devotion during his enlistment.
You can watch the full interview here: