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[Interview Part 1] HIM Military Culture Magazine, Oct. 2017 – Adieu, Special Forces Sergeant Lee Seunggi

As you all know by now~~^^ Our Special Forces 13th Airborne Brigade Sergeant Lee Seunggi is featured in the October 2017 issue of The Ministry of National Defense ‘HIM Military Culture Magazine,’ a monthly print which aims to help soldiers successfully experience and complete their military service.

October 2017 also happens to be his last month of military service!^^ Fun fact: ‘Him’ is how you English-pronounce the Korean word ‘힘’ which means ‘strength.’ ^^ The October 2017 issue was specially prepared as a ‘Korea Armed Forces Day’ issue.

[Interview Part 1]

HIM (힘) Military Culture Magazine
October 2017 | Vol. 78
Adieu, Sergeant Lee Seung Gi
Special Forces Lee Seung Gi’s Last Present

English translation: LSGfan
Original Content:
HIM Magazine and lovely Airens^^

*Note: Internet blog version of the interview appears to not include entire magazine print interview version.  I’ve translated the magazine version for this section.

Heartwarming looks and singing ability, acting ability, and even personality… not a single thing lacking is entertainment’s Uhm-Chin-Ah Lee Seunggi.  Meeting him transformed well into a sergeant with Special Forces blood boiling over, we heard about Sergeant Lee Seunggi’s army life which had been unknown until now.  Taking the baton from reservist Sergeant Jung Yunho, Sergeant Lee Seunggi was selected as the public relations poster model for the 2017 ‘Barracks/Camp Reading Revitalization and Support Project’ organized by the Love of Sharing Books Campaign and now far more strong and solid, he perfectly conveyed a soldier’s demeanor.

“Loyalty/Salute!” This was the first greeting from Sergeant Lee Seunggi. Even though his discharge is coming up in one month, you couldn’t find even a tiny bit of slacking discipline about him. If anything, the way he was straight and upright about everything made the staff exclaim ‘a natural soldier’ and ‘you could stake a ground in the army.’

Variety, drama, movies, music… having been active across all fields in limitless remarkable ways, he enlisted for military service last year. At a later age of 30 years old (29 in American years), he was assigned to the Special Forces division, something that was unexpected; garnering a lot of attention, he was now no longer a ‘celebrity’ and became a ‘soldier.’

The Special Forces is what developed Lee Seunggi into a firm strong soldier. If that’s the case, what was his army life like which allowed him to evolve into a true soldier? Actually up to this point, we’ve only heard tickling news bits here and there about Sergeant Lee Seunggi from those around him and a few official military events. And in the meantime, the common sentiment people have expressed is that yes, even though Lee Seunggi is adapting to army life, he’s adapting ‘way too well.’

And last month, this person appeared at a studio in Seoul. With one month until his discharge, he was here because he had been selected as the public relations poster model for the ‘2017 Barracks/Camp Reading Revitalization and Support Project,’ organized by the Love of Sharing Books Campaign which is hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and sponsored by the Ministry of National Defense.  [They] were able to sense in Sergeant Lee Seunggi, the importance of a ‘thinking/reflective soldier’ after one enlists.

Having met him on this filming set, talk unfolded about the past 21 months living as Soldier Lee Seunggi and what reading means to him.


# A Familiar Name, Soldier Lee Seunggi

In no time, your discharge is right in front of you. Did you create a lot of memories with your comrades?

LSG: Yes. Being together for 24 hours and training and enduring hardship together, I feel more fondness about saying goodbye.

There’s probably a big age gap between you and your successor?

LSG: There is a 10-year difference with the predecessor above me who was just discharged. I was born in 1987, and my predecessor he was born in 1997.

Despite being much older than your comrades, you’re famous for having adapted well in the army. I’m curious as to your secret for adapting well to army life.

LSG: Can you call it a secret? The key is that I met really great commanding officers and comrades. I believe there’s a compatibility (goong-hap) that exists among people; I think I have a lot of good fortune.

You didn’t experience any hard times?

LSG: Of course I did. However, not that much since I’m the type to adapt quickly to things. But if I had to choose a time that was difficult, it would be the first week upon returning from my first break. Having lived and been programmed as a soldier for more than 100 days, returning after briefly enjoying outside life… it was hard to conduct a regulated disciplined life. But aside from that, I adapted excessively well.

What did you do when you had your first military leave?
(this item translated by Tryp96)

LSG: The very first place I went to was a hospital. In SWC, the soldiers are required to receive basic airborne training. Usually we can go on a leave right after the basic airborne training, but at the time, my unit was in the middle of a big one-month-long training. After I finished my airborne training, there were still about 10 days left in the training (at my unit). I really wanted to participate in that training, so as soon as I finished (the airborne training), I postponed my leave and returned to my unit.

I went to the high mountain training ground with the same gears I had taken to the airborne training. Actually, my body was throbbing with pain at that time, but I didn’t think it would be a big problem. I thought, “Because airborne training used muscles that aren’t normally used, of course it would hurt.” The mountain training I participated in while enduring the throbbing pain was also tough. Usually, when going to a mountaintop, the maknae carries the rice and drinking water for the team. I was 31 years old, but as the maknae [lowest in rank in this case], I climbed mountains carrying that load. It was hard, but I felt proud, and enjoyed it.

Then after all the training ended and we were back at our base, pain came on in my side when I was getting organized. I thought of it lightly, “Ah! Even my side gets cramps too.” But later, it got so painful that I couldn’t even bend my body. So I went to a hospital, and was told that my rib(s) was fractured. I really didn’t know. That’s how a hospital became my first destination in my first leave.

Among all the advice you heard around your enlistment time, is there one that was most memorable?

LSG: The piece of advice I heard most was ‘just do average/medium.’ Meaning, don’t even try to do really well but quietly pass the time well and come back, but that concept didn’t really work well when I came to the Special Forces.

When you enlisted, you said “I’ll conduct my army life well, not trying to stand out.” Did you have a scenario in mind of what to expect in army life?

LSG: Originally, I received a military intelligence corps specialty.  Typically, if you receive an intelligence-related position, rather than a lot of training, you carry out intelligence gathering and assignments so I thought I’d feel less burdened about the training. So when I was told I’d become an intelligence soldier, my parents were also happy.

The friends from our training center and I were all talking about whether we were assigned to the front lines or home front, as an engineer soldier or artillery soldier, etc., and I alone was appointed to the Special Forces.  Up until that time, I didn’t really know what kind of unit the Special Forces was.  I think that was even more so the case because the Special Forces soldiers are separate in the training center.

However, the company commander at the training center at that time was originally a Special Forces drill sergeant, and he explained a lot of of what the Special Forces was to me.  He said I would receive another 5 weeks of training.  I also learned at that time that Special Forces was an airborne unit. I have acrophobia, so honestly, I was a bit worried.

So have you overcome your acrophobia now?

LSG: Our brigade motto is ‘Make the impossible, possible’ and it really makes you, make things possible.

You’re doing such a good job in the army, have you every thought that you may have the constitution of a soldier?

LSG: I say I don’t but all the people around me tell me I do. A lot of people said ‘you might as well apply to the Special Forces since you’re here,’ saying that it would be awesome.

[to be continued…]

8 Responses

  1. Thank you for the translation…much awaited!! I will wait for the next and succeeding translation!!! no pressure, take your time, though you have a deadline of before 30th of October..hahahah!!! thank you!!!

  2. Thank you for the translation, I will use it to make the Hungarian version of the interview. Of course I will name my source. :)

  3. and I will translate it for Romanianas fans, thank you so much

  4. thank you for your kind consideration to non-korean fan! 😀😀😀 can’t wait for part 2!❤️❤️❤️

  5. Gracias gracias…podria decir muchas cosas pero esa palabra resume lo que siento al tener la traducción y poder saber que ha dicho nuestro amado LSG… y sólo me llena de orgullo por que confirma ue es un ser humano increíble y el lema de la compañía lo define a él ❤

  6. Thank you so much for translating the article!!! This means a lot!!! I am so proud of you Seunggiya!

  7. Sergent, i greet you sir, keep it up with your good works.

  8. Thank you for tansalating

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