NEWS | July 26, 2021

U.S. and ROK militaries find creative ways to celebrate Alliance through music

By Eun Chong “David” Kim, Diane Worden and Army Staff Sgt. Sunjoo Kim

They say that music can transcend language and cultural boundaries. Despite challenges or tough situations, the U.S. and ROK alliance is resilient and our bond holds strong – a bond that continues to be strengthened in many ways including through the connection and power of music.

ROK Army Sgt. Yook Sung-jae in dress uniform and U.S. Army Spc. Brittany D. Simmons in dress uniform are standing in the center look at one another, while a video crew with cameras, lighting and sound are to the right of the frame. The left of the frame is blocked by a blurred wall. They're standing in the center of a rotunda located at the War Memorial of Korea.
Joint Music Video Collaboration
In coordination with U.S. Forces Korea and United Nations Command, Republic of Korea’s Ministry of National Defense creates a joint music video on July 8 at the War Memorial of Korea, Seoul, to mark the 68th Anniversary of the Korean Armistice Agreement.
Photo By: Staff Sgt. Kim, Sun Joo
VIRIN: 210708-A-D0486-1003

In coordination with U.S. Forces Korea and United Nations Command, Republic of Korea’s Ministry of National Defense created a joint music video to mark the 68th Anniversary of the Korean Armistice Agreement on July 27, 2021.

The music video – a collaboration between the MND Band and the Eighth Army Band that took more than two months to develop – features the talents of famed K-pop star ROK Army Sgt. Yook Sung-jae of the boy band BTOB; the Eighth Army Band musician U.S. Army Spc. Brittany D. Simmons; and members of the MND and UNC Honor Guards.

“I hope this music video can remind you of the significance of the ROK and U.S. Alliance,” Yook said.

“All fallen heroes—not only ROK but also U.S. and UNC—must be remembered for the sacrifice they made for my country.”
ROK Army Sgt. Yook Sung-jae

Yook is currently serving as a solider in the ROK Army. By law, all able-bodied South Korean men are required to complete about two years of military service as part of the ROK conscription system, which is crucial to the country’s defense.

“Working with the MND Band was an extraordinary experience,” Simmons said. “They are all so professional and talented. Yook Sung-jae was kind and humble and always willing to help me if I didn’t understand something.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the music scene hard. Many musicians had to find innovative ways to practice their craft, including the MND and Eighth Army bands. Although COVID-19 added an extra layer of difficulty for developing the project, this was a chance to showcase the collaboration and strength of the alliance to a global audience.

“It was a really amazing honor to be part of this music video and to tell the story of the U.S.-Korean alliance through song.” Simmons said. Simmons, who is also a second generation Army soldier, added that Korea holds a special place in her heart as her father served in Korea twice, and she visited here when she was 12 years old.

The video features the song, “We Go Together,” written by a U.S. service member nearly twenty years ago. The MND Band arranged the song anew to honor the alliance and to mark the 68th Anniversary of the Korean Armistice Agreement.

"I think the story of the song about two soldiers from two different parts of the world, but fighting for the same thing is really powerful. No matter how different they are or far from home they are, they both stand for and are fighting for the same thing. Freedom.”
U.S. Army Spc. Brittany D. Simmons

ROK Army Sgt. Yook Sung-jae in dress uniform is standing on the left while U.S. Army Spc. Brittany D. Simmons in dress uniform is standing on the right and both are looking at one another, talking. Behind them is a blurred stairway from inside of the War Memorial of Korea.
In coordination with U.S. Forces Korea and United Nations Command, Republic of Korea’s Ministry of National Defense creates a joint music video on July 8 at the War Memorial of Korea, Seoul, to mark the 68th Anniversary of the Korean Armistice Agreement.

July 27 marks 68 years since the Armistice Agreement was signed, putting a stop to the Korean conflict. It is the longest negotiated armistice in world history – taking more than two years and hundreds of meetings to complete. Two months after that, the U.S. and ROK signed a Mutual Defense Treaty on Oct. 1, 1953, the foundation of a comprehensive alliance that endures today. 

The U.S.-ROK Alliance is ironclad and we will continue to find creative ways to celebrate our partnership and friendship. “We go together.”


 

USFK has continued to serve as living proof of America’s commitment to the defense of the ROK. Today, 28,500 U.S. service members stand side-by-side with their ROK and UNC Sending State partners to maintain a robust combined defense posture to protect the ROK against any threat or adversary.