BTS‘ Jin was the first member of the septet to begin their mandatory service in the South Korean army last month. But before he left for basic, the 30-year-old singer recorded a special message for the group’s ultra-dedicated non-military ARMY fan group.

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“Hello everyone, this is Jin of BTS. I won’t be a civilian by the time the video is out. But I am here in front of the camera, because I wanted to leave you something, even if it is just leaving a message,” said Jin in the minute-long clip filmed in what looks like an alleyway that dropped on Monday (Jan. 9).

He noted that the video was shot during a break from appearing on an episode of the SBS-produced South Korean variety show Running Man, which he appeared on in November; Jin began his enlistment on Dec. 13. “Whenever I am available I wish to leave these videos and records once every few months to share with you as much as possible, even if it’s just checking in briefly,” he continued. “I may not be by your side at this very moment, but I’ll go looking for you soon, so if you just wait a little bit. I’ll be back soon. That’s all for today. Next time when I have the chance, I’ll be back with another video.”

Just before leaving for bootcamp last month, Jin uploaded a photo which showed off that his signature locks — most recently on display in his “Astronaut” music video — were shorn in favor of what’s known as the “induction cut.”

Per national law, all able-bodied South Korean men must serve in the armed forces for at least 18 months with varying lengths of service time. While the draft begins once they turn 18, men may postpone it until age 28. In December 2020, the Korean National Assembly passed a motion (nicknamed the “BTS law”) to allow top K-pop stars to postpone service until age 30 with a recommendation from the culture minister.

Jin is the first of the seven BTS members to fulfill his mandatory obligations.

Watch Jin’s video below.