Stars and Stripes: Officers in S. Korea Consider Lower Drinking Age

Military officers in South Korea are considering some changes to alcohol policies for enlisted servicemembers, according to a recent report in Stars and Stripes. Maj. Gen. Michael Tucker and other officials are trying to change the culture of toxic drinking among young soldiers, who routinely “‘go downtown and get pickled’ before ‘stumbling back to the barracks.'” Currently, the drinking age for servicemembers is 21, but the drinking age in South Korea is 19. Tucker would like to close this gap in order to discourage irresponsible, secretive drinking. The proposed changes include a lower drinking age of 19, adjustments to blood-alcohol limitations, and new curfew hours, along with a “three strikes” policy of increasing punishment for violations.

Tucker told Stars and Stripes reporter John Rabiroff that “What we’re doing right now is not working” and that “we have to educate them. We want them to think.” If approved, these changes would be the subject of a six-month trial period.

What do you think of these proposed changes? Let us know in the comments.

One Response to “Stars and Stripes: Officers in S. Korea Consider Lower Drinking Age”

  1. Edwin Says:

    The drinking age must be lowered to 18 along with an alcohol education program. The United States military must obey the drinking age in the countries in which its soldiers are stationed because a drinking age of 21 is ageist, even more for soldiers to follow it. The military officers are doing the correct thing by lowering the drinking age for its soldiers to 19, as in South Korea, along with education. The solution will be an improvement because the ageist drinking age of 21 encourages irresponsibility.