What’s in a name? USFK commander to be honored with Korean moniker
November 3, 2016
SEOUL, South Korea — The commander of U.S. Forces Korea is getting a new name.
Gen. Vincent Brooks will receive an honorary Korean moniker from a South Korean group promoting the alliance between the two countries.
His Korean name — Park Yu Jong — will be bestowed upon him during a ceremony Friday at U.S. Army Yongsan Garrison in Seoul.
Each part of the name has a different meaning, according to the ROK-U.S. Alliance Friendship Association.
Park is related to the scholar Park Je Ga from the late Joseon dynasty.
Yu means “to connect” and refers to someone with knowledge and virtue who will gain great success through their interpersonal relationship.
Jong means “a unique personality, cleverness and great abilities” that will lead to success, fame and great fortune.
The name was chosen by a Buddhist monk acting as an adviser and consultant for the association, the group’s general secretary Kim Jin Seob said.
It’s a longstanding tradition. The nonprofit organization has given Korean names to previous USFK commanders as well as President Barack Obama (Oh Han Ma), former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (Han Hui Sook), and other senior U.S. officials.
The group said it hopes Brooks will take the name with the spirit it was intended and “work continuously for the alliance of both countries, Korea and the United States.”
At the ceremony, the lanky general will get a scroll and a taekwondo black belt and uniform, size 210 centimeters (nearly 7 feet), inscribed with his Korean name.
Brooks, who also leads the U.N. Command and the Combined Forces Command, took the helm in April.
The U.S. has about 28,500 servicemembers stationed on the divided peninsula. North and South Korea remain technically at war after the 1950-53 conflict ended with an armistice instead of a peace treaty.
Stars and Stripes staffer Yoo Kyong Chang contributed to this report.