DAEGU, Republic of Korea – As the world commemorates the 73rd Anniversary of the Korean War and the 70th Anniversary of the Armistice, we explore the importance of maintaining strong relationships with the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the significance of leadership in the military. Yearning to understand the dynamic complexities of the ROK-U.S. alliance, we delve into the thoughts and insights of Lt. Col. Jung Soh, the Korean Service Corps (KSC) battalion commander.
Family Ties and Path to Service:
Soh shares his experiences and perspectives on 'Making a Difference' through the KSC's critical role within the ROK-U.S. Alliance. His connection to the Korean War is personal. While he does not have family members who fought in the war, his oldest uncle served in the ROK Air Force for over 20 years and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. Soh’s commitment to the U.S. Army was also inspired by the September 11, 2001, attacks, which changed the course of his career and life forever.
With a major in Criminal Justice from John Jay College in New York City, Soh initially aspired to join the New York Police Department. However, the tragic attacks gave Soh the necessary accelerant to ignite change in himself. He later joined the Fordham ROTC program – combining academic integrity and physical conditioning, where he received his commission in 2003. Fordham Alumni often refer to New York as their campus and Fordham as their school. Soh now had a new perspective – one where he could view the world differently and explore endless possibilities as an Army officer.
The Significance of ROK-U.S. Alliance:
The United States shares an unwavering alliance with the Republic of Korea, and together they provide security, stability, and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula and the Indo-Pacific region.
Since its establishment on July 14, 1951, the KSC Battalion has been an integral asset to units across the Korean peninsula. While its mission has evolved over the years, its significance has only increased. Their unique skill set makes a difference every day in fulfilling critical missions. As the KSC Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Soh emphasizes the importance of the ROK-U.S. Alliance, particularly in supporting their wartime mission.
Inspiration and Philosophy:
Effective Army leaders embody qualities such as adaptability, agility, flexibility, responsiveness, and resilience. Drawing from his tenure as the former Director for United States Army Command Information Systems Activity-Pacific (USACISA-P), Lt. Col. Soh identifies as a leader who listens and seeks innovative business approaches. He prioritizes feedback from subordinates and peers, fostering a transparent and open environment. Core to his leadership philosophy are honesty and a dedication to excellence, empowering subordinates for achievement. Soh draws inspiration from General Douglas MacArthur's daring approach during the Incheon Landing operation. This boldness and innovative spirit motivated Soh on his leadership journey. His commitment to the U.S. Army and his dedication to the ROK-U.S. Alliance underscore shared values and cooperative spirit between the two nations.
A Legacy of Excellence:
The dedication of the Korean Service Corps and leaders such as Soh, whose commitment to excellence and intercultural cooperation, fortifies the alliance between the Republic of Korea and the United States. Their legacy of shared values and partnership continues to safeguard peace and stability in the region, inspiring future generations of leaders and strengthening the bonds between the two nations. These leaders are truly making a difference in the Republic of Korea – the pursuit of purpose.