U.S. Forces Korea announced it was ending curfew for the nearly 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea effective Dec. 17.
The dreaded curfew, which forced U.S. troops on the Korean Peninsula to remain on base, in their residences or hotel rooms from 1-5 a.m., was suspended on a trial run in June for 90 days. The curfew suspension was extended again in September for another 90 days.
“After assessing the curfew data and consulting with USFK leaders including component commanders, I decided to end the curfew effective December 17,” Gen. Robert B. Abrams, United States Forces Korea commander, said in a news release.
“The 180 day curfew suspension enabled leaders at all levels of the chain of command to recommend keeping the curfew, continuing the suspension, or ending the curfew. All recommended its termination," Abrams said in the release.
U.S. Forces Korea said the curfew suspension trial run that ran from June to December was focused on “behavior, morale, readiness factors and the capability for USFK Service Members to maintain good order and discipline, at all times and under all conditions."
Stars and Stripes reported that the curfew started after the 9/11 attacks.
In July, a U.S. soldier in South Korea allegedly attempted to steal a taxi and hit a Korean National Police officer. The soldier was allegedly out drinking with friends the night of the incident.
“Leaders are responsible for our Service Members on and off-post conduct; we are ambassadors of USFK, the United States and the US-RoK [Republic of Korea] Alliance to the Korean people,”Abrams said in the release.
“We have a solemn responsibility to keep readiness at its highest levels with a “Fight Tonight” posture, approach and mentality. Our capability and capacity to remain ready at all times is non-negotiable," Abrams said in the release.
Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.