WARRIOR BASE, South Korea - Pfc. Yoon Sik Um has been a KATUSA for three months. He works within the Eighth Army G9 shop. At 21 years old, Um has already begun his collegiate career and plans to continue his education after he finishes his time with the military.
Um scored 916 out of 990 on his English proficiency exam to gain admission into the KATUSA program. He opted to join the KATUSAs instead of the Republic of Korea army because he wanted to work more directly with U.S. soldiers.
“I wanted to work with American soldiers so I could learn English better and experience their culture,” Um said.
Um, whose uncle was also a KATUSA, studied English at a young age with a private tutor, and again in high school. He has enjoyed his time so far in the Army, especially the American food at the dining facility.
“I enjoyed ROK basic training, but the food was really bad,” Um said. “I’m really enjoying the American food so far, but my belly is getting bigger.”
The 21-year-old is proud of the service he is doing for his country and the United States.
“We are the link between the US and the ROK Army,” Um said.