YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea (April 15, 2013) -- Eighth Army recently unveiled a combined joint task force emblem in support of its transformation to a Field Army headquarters.
The emblem features a Korean Dragon holding a shield with the American and South Korean flags and the number 8 on it.
Kim Chong-chin, from the Yongsan Visual Information Support Center, designed the emblem with an eye toward Korean folklore. A native of Uijeongbu, South Korea, Kim said the task force emblem took two months to complete.
"Every little detail about the dragon was drawn from scratch," said Kim, who discovered his artistic talent in middle school. "For example, every little scale on the dragon was drawn with detail."
On the emblem, the dragon holds a Yeouiju, a magic Korean marble orb that makes a dragon powerful and wise. According to Korean legend, only four-toed dragons can wield the magic orb.
The task force motto Victors is on the orb in the Korean Hanja script.
Along with tigers and bears, dragons play a prominent role in Korean legend. The post where the Eighth Army Headquarters is located is called Yongsan, a Korean word for Dragon Mountain.
Eighth Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. John D. Johnson came up with the idea of the dragon emblem, according to Kim. During his two and a half years in command, Johnson has shepherded Eighth Army through its transformation from an Army Service Component Command to a Field Army capable of commanding combined and joint corps-level combat formations.
Kim said the dragon emblem was designed to capture the "tough impenetrable" spirit of the Republic of Korea-United States Alliance and the task force that supports it.
"The oriental style dragon represents power and ferocity," said Kim.