Cover Jung Hae-in in 'DP' | Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

From Captain Ri to Big Boss and more, these knights in shining armour give us a glimpse of army life in- and off-camp

From heirs and heiresses, emperors and empresses, surgeons to fugitives, psychos, gumihos (nine-tailed foxes) and grim-reapers, the Korean entertainment scene has given us almost all sorts of characters we could ever imagine.

In recent years, we’ve also seen a number of military characters who have given us a peek into their lives inside the camp as well as the trials and conflicts they go through in the name of serving the country. Interestingly, while fictional, we also get a glimpse of the military systems in both North and South Korea.

In this article, Tatler lists down some of this decade's most iconic K-drama characters.

Read also: 10 K Stars Who've Already Enlisted For Military Service




1. Captain Ri Jeong-hyeok played by Hyun Bin | Crash Landing On You

He is perhaps the most memorable military character of this decade, which many K-drama fans (and converts) around the world still adore to this day. For some, he is one of the reasons they got into the Hallyu black hole, along with Crash Landing on You’s female lead character, Yoon Se-ri (played by his now real-life partner, Son Ye-jin).

While Captain Ri Jeong-hyeok (Hyun Bin) looks cold and indifferent on the surface, his genuine love—for his family, the country and Yoon Se-ri—reverberates throughout the 16-episode phenomenal drama in 2019-2020. From a soldier who would risk his life and happiness to an ordinary guy who would cook ramyeon from scratch for a woman he barely knows, who wouldn’t fall for this North Korean bachelor?

Read also: From Vincenzo To Crash Landing On You: 10 Filming Locations For Your Bucket List

2. Yoo Si-jin a.k.a. Big Boss played by Song Joong-ki | Descendants of the Sun

Another military character that we still look up to this day is Yoo Si-jin or more popularly known as “Big Boss” in the 52nd Baeksang Arts Awards Grand Prize winner drama, Descendants of the Sun.

Played by Song-Joongki (Vincenzo, Arthdal Chronicles), Yoo Si-jin is the captain of a South Korean Special Forces unit, who meets the beautiful cardiothoracic surgeon Dr Kang Mo-yeon (Song Hye-kyo) while on break. He returns to the camp located in the fictional war country of Uruk, where Dr Kang Mo-yeon would, later on, be assigned on a medical mission. Yoo- Si-jin’s action stunts especially in protecting Dr Kang Mo-yeon are jaw-dropping including one where he had to intentionally drop a car they’re in, from a cliff and another when he saved her from David Argus, a leader of a bigtime gang and the main antagonist in the show.

Read also: 10 Vincenzo Scenes That Speak Louder Than Words

3. Lee Gon played by Lee Min-ho | The King: Eternal Monarch

Lee Min-ho plays the characters of Emperor Lee Gon and Lee Ji-hun in The King: Eternal Monarch, a 2020 series that revolves around two parallel universes: the Kingdom of Corea, a constitutional monarchy, and the Democratic Republic of Korea.

While Lee Gon and Lee Jee-hun are primarily the heads of these two different worlds, he appeared in one of the episodes donning a white naval uniform as he prepared to confront Japan after they invaded Korea’s territories. In this same uniform, the actor was seen preparing a meal for Jung Tae-eul (Kim Go-eun) after he almost lost her the day before.

Read also: 7 Lee Min-ho Movies and Shows You Need To Watch This 2021


4. Kim Je-ha played by Ji Chang-wook | K2

Kim Je-ha (Ji Chang-wook) is a fugitive who returned to South Korea after being framed for the murder of his civilian girlfriend, Raniya, in Iraq, where he was a mercenary soldier for the private military company, Blackstone.

Upon his return to South Korea, his skills caught the attention of Choi Yoo-jin, JSS Security Company owner and wife of presidential candidate Jang Se-joo (Jo Sung-ha). Choi Yoo-jin hired him and assigned him to be the bodyguard of Jang Se-joo’s secret illegitimate daughter Go An-na (Im Yoon-ah), who would, later on, become Kim Je-ha’s love interest.

Read also: 7 Of The Most Popular Leading Men In K Drama



5. Private Ahn Joon-ho played by Jung Hae-in | D.P.

In Netflix’s latest release, D.P. (short for Deserter Pursuit), Private Ahn Joon-ho (Jung Hae-in) teams up with Corporal Han Ho-yul (Koo Kyo-hwan) to find and catch military deserters. In the process, Ahn Joon-ho discovers the disturbing incidents of bullying inside the camp, of which the victims are often the rookies who just entered South Korea’s two-year mandatory military service.

Read also: The Cast Of ‘D.P.’ Talks About The New Netflix K-Drama

© 2022 Tatler Asia Limited. All rights reserved.