Rapper Swings has been gaining rather positive attention from both the media and public for his decision to apply for KATUSA, despite his South Korean military exemption.
An unexpected tweet posted by rapper Verbal Jint on November 5th has gotten the South Korean public dazed with confusion and pride. The short message read, “Today’s weather is that of the type of weather seen towards the end of the year holiday after it begins to clear up.. I pray that Swings passes his KATUSA application and entrance.”
KATUSA, the Korean Augmentation to the United States Army, is a program that allows the South Korean government to recruit soldiers who are fluent in both the Korean and English languages to the U.S. Army bases stationed on the Korean peninsula to ensure greater military maneuverability within the Republic of Korea. The KATUSA often stands as a symbol of alliance between the South Korean army and the American army.
Many surprised netizens were taken aback once more after they heard that the KATUSA only accepts applicants who scored over 780 points on their TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) exam or a score of over 690 points on their TEPS (Test of English Proficiency) exam. Swings scored a massive 970 points on his TOEIC exam, which got him accepted as an honors English major student at one of the most prestigious universities in South Korea, Sung Kyun Kwan University.
However, upon the news of Swings’ sudden decision to apply for the KATUSA, the subject of his previous exemption from the 2-year South Korean mandatory military service has been brought to light.
During an episode of Mnet‘s 4 Things Show, which aired in August with Swings as the main guest, the rapper admitted to having a mental illness which was diagnosed to him at the age of about four years old. Swings revealed, “I used to hear voices in my head frequently. The first memories I have of the voices is when I was four years old. Someone kept screaming and shouting at me from inside my head, which is why I used to fall asleep with my hands cuffed around my ears,” he continued, “Years after being diagnosed, my doctor told me to just leave the voice. I was told not to drink alcohol, even though it was the only way to block the voices out of my head. I decided to stop drinking because I knew that even though the voices left my head, it was only temporary and they would return once I woke up the next day.”
Netizens have slowly begun praising the rapper and showing their pride for his strong-willed decision in attempting to enter the military to serve his country’s duties, despite his health condition which allows exemption from any enlistment into the army.
말년휴가 끝나고 클리어링하던 시절의 날씨다.. Swings @itsjustswings 의 카투사 합격을 기원합니다. 🙏🍂🍁
— 777 (@freevj) November 5, 2014