War Veterans Memorial Ceremony marks 70th anniversary of Korean Service Corps

By Kevin Bell and By Ms. Kim, Un Chu, the Korean Service Corps BattalionAugust 5, 2020

CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea -- July 26 marks the 70th anniversary of the Korean Service Corps (KSC) also known as the “A-Frame Army.”

To mark its 70th anniversary, the KSC War Veterans’ Memorial held a ceremony to pay tribute to KSC service members who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Korean War. The event was co-hosted by KSC leaders and Seoul National Cemetery.  U.S. Army Lt. Col. John E. Cooper, the KSC battalion commander, and two KSC war veterans Mr. Ho, Chang Hae and Mr. Choe, Ui, Chun were joined by Mr. Yi, Chin U, KSC battalion deputy commanding officer and Mr. Cho, Sung Pom, KSC Battalion Operations (S3) Chief, in honoring the fallen during the event at Seoul National Cemetery.

“During the Korean War, the KSC was a true wartime warrior who fought bare-handed,” said Ho, “And now that I am here to commemorate my fellow KSCs who lost their lives in service, it reminds me of the times I fought alongside with them.”

Facing a severe fighting strength shortage during the Korean War, Korean President Syngman Rhee responded to Eighth Army Commander Lt. Gen. Walton Walker's call for manpower by signing an emergency decree on July 26, 1950. The decree, directed the Republic of Korea (ROK) Army to provide civilian carriers to haul ammunition, food, and supplies, often using just a wood s-frame device on their back’s, which inspired U.S. Soldiers’ nickname of the KSC as the "A-frame Army.”

“The KSC is brave,” said Ho. “We also evacuated the killed and wounded soldiers from the battlefield to link-up points, constructed defense positions, trenches, command posts, and repaired bridges and restored main supply routes even without a helmet.”

Despite harsh weather and the threat of hostile action, the KSC traveled unarmed, by foot, through steep, rugged terrain that was inaccessible by vehicle. The result was the creation of the Civilian Transportation Corps, which later was renamed the Korean Service Corps (KSC).

“This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Korean Service Corps. Let us not forget that freedom is not free. During the Korean War, over 2,000 KSCs were killed in action and the KSC suffered nearly 10,000 Casualties,” said KSC Commander Lt. Col. John Cooper.

“No death is in vain as they gave their lives in defense of their nation and it has become deeply etched in the hearts of the KSC Force and their families,” added Cooper.

To learn more about the KSC, please visit their website at: ksc.korea.army.mil

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