This is a cross post by author Geoffrey Ingersoll that originally appeared on Business Insider.
We were quite disconcerted when the South Korean (ROK) Marine leadership refused to leave the firing range.
This was back in 2008, when I went up to the DMZ to train with the ROK Marines.
The ROK were missing three pieces of "brass," or spent shell casings, and refused to vacate without finding them.
After a bit of talking, we found out that the ROK (and most military units for that matter), use these special bags to catch all the brass. The reason being that they count literally every single round.
Why? Because enlistment is one of four Constitutional obligations in South Korea. It's obligatory, for about two years, to serve in the military.
Occasionally, a few of the more depressed fellows try to make off with some extra rounds, either to end their own lives or do something else drastic.
There's also rampant hazing, according to this LA Times article.
Eventually, after combing the range for what seemed an eternity, we found the missing three rounds.