Many young South Korean men today describe the two years they are required to serve in the military as "wasted time." It is an imposition on their prime years -- when they could be getting ahead in their education, getting a job, or meeting their life partner, they spend 21 to 24 months in a sort of man camp. Of course, they are trained to defend the country from North Korea, but that is usually the third or fourth thing they mention, when asked to talk about what the military experience means for them. "The day I completed my service was the best day of my life by far," said Chung Minjae, 24, who served 23 months as a Korean Augmentation To the United States Army (KATUSA) at the American base in Seoul from 2008 to 2009. KATUSA conscripts serve alongside approximately 28,500 U.S. troops that remain stationed in South Korea today since the Korean War ended in a cease-fire, not a peace treaty, in 1953. The American presence and joint operation with South Korea continue to play a major role in deterrence efforts against aggression from North Korea.