[English Translation] Consolatory Train Performances Provide a Special Strength


~Cloud Cover by Terri :-}, Managing Editor

Lovely Clouds,

At this time, we have no idea if Rain will be involved in any future Consolatory Train Programs.  The performances are supposed to start up again in the spring, but right now, Rain and the other External Relations Team soldiers are laying low.  I imagine, though, that rehearsals are currently taking place, but that’s just a guess.  If we hear something about an upcoming Rain performance, though, we’ll let you know.  After all, that is what we do, right?  :-}

In the meantime, please read this article,  It was written by a writer of the DEMA FM Consolatory Train Program itself.  We don’t know her name, because it was not revealed.  However, her words really capture the frustration I feel at the public and the netizens in Korea, who continue to vilify both Rain and his fellow soldiers in the program—even though they don’t have a clue how the PR Division is run, or how hard its External Relations Team really works.

Maybe to some, the PR Division and its soldiers are a waste of time and money.  Having lived the military life and having provided some of these types of family and morale, welfare and recreation programs for U.S. military communities myself, I disagree.  I know first-hand how much these types of activities can mean not only to the soldiers in the audiences, but also to the soldier performers. I know, because they TOLD me so.

Many thanks to huhuhuhu, on The Cloud (Rain’s official fan club in Korea) for translating this article into English for Rain’s English-speaking fans.

Also, many blessings to the soldiers of the PR Division, who continue to carry on in the face of such senseless vitriol.

Terri :-}

[English translation by huhuhuhu, on The Cloud; Written by a DEMA writer whose name was not revealed.]

Upcoming Consolatory Train Performance
The Consolatory Train Performance gives a special strength that cannot be found in other performances. Compared to girl groups, the DEMA members received even more passionate cheers from the soldiers who packed the seats.

Sergeant Park Hyo Shin singing “Snow flower” without musical accompaniment all year long at the request of the soldiers. Corporal Jung Jihoon bringing joy to the soldiers with his passionate performance, and convincing and begging the commander to give a special day off as gift to the soldiers. The Untouchable team running around the stage until they were wet through and through. The DEMA members did their best and the soldiers chanted their names in one voice to cheer for them. Gaining energy from the passionate response, the DEMA members gave an even more passionate performance.

The duty of the DEMA members is not just to boost the morale of the soldiers. They also perform the role of bringing our army and the citizens together. Through regional consolatory train performance, they gave unforgettable memories to residents who live nearby. During Expo, over 30,000 people attended the K-pop festival in order to watch the performance of the DEMA members. Through their participation in local activities and national events which bring civilians and army together, DEMA members help create a positive image on our nation’s army.

But recently all their efforts were destroyed as if they were nothing by two words: ”special privileges”. The memories jointly made by them and the soldiers are fading away and this is sad.

If one only looks at the number of leave days and sleep out days of the DEMA members and compare them with the leave days of ordinary soldiers, it’s inevitable to see that DEMA members have more days in terms of number. The sleep out days because they have to rehearse for their stage and because they have to do broadcasting programmes, and the sleep out days when they have to go to regional army bases to perform Consolatory Train, were all included as their leave days. They were labeled as receiving “special privileges” and were being criticized. It is unfair to them.

Especially, due to production reasons, the stages of Consolatory Train look similar week by week. To avoid this repetitive feeling DEMA members have been requested to prepare new songs and new stages. We really feel bad that they have to accommodate our request under such difficult circumstances.

The DEMA members willingly swap their weekends and leave days for Consolatory Train performance and radio broadcast programmes, as well as participating in various activities. This is because they are fully aware of their duty, the help they will give in boosting the morale of the soldiers, and they are proud of their roles.

In 2013 the Consolatory Train will continue to go to various army bases. The DEMA members will continue to go on stage. When the soldiers watch them on stage, let’s hope they do not see these DEMA members as celebrities living a different military life than their own. Rather, let’s hope they will see them as comrades, and continue to enjoy their stages passionately like they always have.

Original Article in Korean:  http://kookbang.dema.mil.kr/kookbangWeb/view.do?ntt_writ_date=20130110&parent_no=1&bbs_id=BBSMSTR_000000000251

P.S.  I thought you might enjoy seeing a few pics from my own U.S. MILCOM theater days.  So, below you’ll find a small gallery of them—just for fun.  These were taken a long time ago (in the late 1980’s).  As I recall, this was a heck of a lot of work, but it was also extremely rewarding.

FYI, the soldiers who auditioned for and participated in our shows had to get special permission from their commanding officers to become a part of our volunteer program.  They were expected to complete all of their regular military duties, come to every single rehearsal, and participate in technical workshop activities as much as possible.They had to be on their very best behavior.  So, they could not be listed on a disciplinary report during their involvement.  If they were ever disciplined during a show, then they were removed from the program.  This was rare.  I only recall this happening once.

So, yeah.  It was a ‘privilege’ for our soldiers to be allowed to be a part of our shows, but they never received any special ‘privileges’ because of their involvement.  There was a lot of extra work involved, and balancing their military lives with their performance lives was extremely tough.  So, to me, all of this talk about the ROK PR Division soldiers receiving “special privileges” is plain old hogwash.  Terri :-}

~ by Cloud USA on January 13, 2013.

6 Responses to “[English Translation] Consolatory Train Performances Provide a Special Strength”

  1. I just realized the photos at the bottom were of you. Thanks so much for sharing your personal walk down memory lane with us. I think boosting the morale of military personnel everywhere, is an awesome job to take on and an extremely…extremely important one. Hats off to you and all those soldiers like Bi who entertain the troops who are far from those they love and who love them. Much respect!


  2. Thanks for sharing Terri, this is very informative


  3. terri
    thank sharing this English here
    it good to read what is should be fair to known and be treat to other solider and important and entertainment is military to encourage morale are some activities provided to boost
    team morale, encourage productivity, and team collaboration is one perfect think to all those solider to keep them happy and smile and yet entertainer themselves and i found each them found excited with RAIN who have their and been their for them
    give this morale if was him their would be thinking to even happen however i want to thank him for choice be part SOLIDER entertainer and hopefully the DEMA be fair to all SOLIDER MEN and give RAIN this Consolatory Train. at lease his fan won’t be so bored and miss him this long too and yes RAIN have give a lot division VALUE FROM time to time i felt it one LUCKY ARMY that have him their but Rain been working his butt off so much they never appreciated him that why all this matter ONLY him just saying it OLD STYLE ya…. !


  4. Great post Terri. Maintaining the morale of soldiers is highly important and entertainment is a vital way for the military to encourage morale. It’s good for the soldiers to laugh, smile and enjoy themselves. I hope Rain is still involved with the Consolatory Train. I think it would be good for them and him. As long as DEMA understands the value of the entertainment soldiers and the soldiers appreciate the entertainment division maybe later the family and friends of the soldiers will come to appreciate this division’s value as well. Just from word of mouth of the soldiers would help. Your pictures of your days are pretty cool. Thanks for sharing.


    • Glad you liked them, Alisa. They sure did bring back some fond memories of days gone by.

      My point of posting them was to show people that there are many of us for whom entertainment matters. A lot. And for some people, like Rain, it’s even their living. I really hate it when people act like “entertainment soldiers” are lower than the low for doing a job that everyone thinks is super cushy. When that isn’t true at all. Entertainment is one of the hardest businesses in the world. So is the military. But when you put them together–it can be a kind of a hell all on its own. You just wouldn’t believe some of the juggling we had to do to keep the soldiers involved, out of trouble, and rested enough so that they could do their “regular jobs.”

      I tell you I could have kissed that commander when we got word that he would be airlifting one of our “star” soldiers back to base from halfway across Germany so that he could perform in the show. If that wasn’t “special privilege,” I don’t know what is. But if he hadn’t done that, the soldier would not have been able to perform, and then the show would have had to have been cancelled, because he was a major player. And then all of the soldiers and families from across the entire community who had purchased tickets (which were practically free, actually) would have been SO terribly disappointed.

      It takes a village.

      Terri :-}


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