By Cpl. Jung Han Soh (Daegu)June 14, 2017
Did you know that there is a Korea army academy near Daegu city? The academy is called Korea Army Academy at Yeongcheon or KAAY. It is at Yeongcheon city which is about 30 miles northeast away from Daegu city.
Col. Ted Stephens, U.S. Army Garrison Daegu commander and Soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, USAG Daegu visited KAAY to have a friendly soccer match with officers and NCOs of KAAY May 31, 2017.
"USAG Daegu Commander Col. Ted Stephens and HHC soldiers always have been great friends to KAAY, and have shown great passion and dedication in helping KAAY Cadets with English conversation," 1st Lt. Oh, Hae-young, Assistant Professor of English Department at KAAY. "The friendly soccer match was the first sport event between the two units, and KAAY and USAG Daegu further fostered the bond through the event. I look forward to more meaningful exchanges in the future between two units."
KAAY is the Korea Army Academy for the undergraduate education and military training of officers. It is located in Yeongcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea. KAAY is the only military academy in the world to accept transferred juniors from universities and train them for two years before they are given the commission of second lieutenants.
There was originally only one Army academy in Korea, the Korea Military Academy. However, as the North Korea's threats reached its peak in 1968, it came to attention that more officers were needed in the ROK Army to lead Soldiers the right way. So, the same year, the KAAY was found Oct. 15.
The Soccer match between HHC and KAAY is a brand new program and one of increased Military to Military exchanges between USAG Daegu and KAAY. As of today, many KAAY Cadets visited USAG Daegu for installation tours and also Col. Stephens did two times of leadership lecture to the Cadets at the academy, KAAY invited HHC Soldiers to KAAY and suggested a friendly soccer match.
"KAAY professors really enjoyed playing soccer with Daegu Garrison soldiers," said Maj. Jeong, Yi-hun, Head of English Department at KAAY "Soldiers were well disciplined and very respectful. I appreciate them for visiting us. In return, we will visit Daegu in fall."
"It was pretty fun. I really enjoyed myself," said Spc. DeAndre' Parker, HHC, USAG Daegu. "It was definitely a learning experience and the comradery between us and the Cadets was pretty good. So I had a good time. I do look forward to the next soccer game because we are definitely going to win," said Parker.
"This was my first time actually going to the Korea Army Academy at Yeongcheon and as I passed the gate there was the Major General waiting for all of us and the military band playing the awesome music," said Cpl. Lee, Hyun-chang, HHC, USAG Daegu. "As we went out of our bus the general greeted us by putting a scarf on us and it was just an honor to have a handshake with the general. I really liked playing soccer with the officers even though we lost and getting impressed by their soccer skills. It was really an honor and pleasure to be able to play with all these great officers. I wish I can play with them again next time!"
HHC, USAG Daegu and KAAY made a promise to play another match later this year. Next match will be HHC vs Cadets at the Camp Henry Victory field.