SHINee’s Taemin transferred from military band to public service duty due to depression

K-pop boy band SHINee’s Taemin, 28, who is serving his military service, has been transferred to become a public service worker due to depression and panic disorder.

Taemin enlisted in the military on May 31, 2021 and joined as a member of the Korean Army’s military band. Before his enlistment, he applied to join the military band and was accepted. Only those eligible for active duty soldiers are accepted in the military band.

SHINee's Taemin as a member of the military band (MMA)

In a statement released on Jan. 14, SM Entertainment, Taemin’s agency, announced his transfer.

“As of January 14, 2022, Taemin was transferred to the supplemental service from the military band of the Ministry of National Defense's Service Support Corps,” the agency said.

It added, “Taemin has been continuously receiving treatment and counseling while serving in the military due to symptoms of depression and panic disorder that he has suffered from before but was transferred to the supplemental service following the military's judgment and action that it is impossible to combine military life and treatment due to the recent worsening symptoms.”

“As a result, Taemin will fulfill his military duty as a public social worker. We apologize for causing concern with the sudden news, and we will do our best to help Taemin focus on treatment and rest,” it said.

According to Korea’s law Military Service Act, public service workers are “persons called up to serve in a field of public interest to support social service duties, administrative duties, etc. related to social welfare, hygiene, medical service, education, culture, environment, safety, etc. or to foster arts and sports, or for international cooperation, which are necessary for the following agencies, etc. serving public interest: state agencies, local governments, public organizations (and) social welfare facilities.”

Taemin is the youngest member of SHINee and the last member to enlist in the military. Onew enlisted in December 2018 and was discharged in July 2020.

Key started his military service in March 2019 and completed it in October 2020 while Minho enlisted in April 2019 and was discharged in November 2020.

According to the Military Manpower Administration (MMDA), the Korean agency which handles conscription, public service workers are required to serve for 21 months.