You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Suicide toll for Army higher than combat losses

Oct. 2, 2013 - 05:39PM   |  
  • Filed Under

More soldiers have died by their own hand than in battle this year, as the Army continues to fight the elusive enemy that also claimed more lives in 2012 than combat in Afghanistan.

So far this year, 106 active-duty soldiers and 102 reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty are believed to have committed suicide, the Army announced Oct. 1.

In comparison, 91 U.S. troops — 80 of them soldiers — died supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

The Army continues to focus on suicide prevention, but the results appear to be mixed, with potential improvement among active-duty soldiers but an alarming increase in the numbers among reserve component soldiers who are not on active duty.

On Oct. 1, the Army announced there were 12 suspected suicides among active-duty soldiers in August, seven fewer than the month before.

Two of the 12 deaths have been confirmed as suicides and the others are still under investigation.

In July, the Army reported as many as 19 suicides among active-duty soldiers; three have been confirmed and the others are still under investigation.

So far this year, as many as 106 soldiers are believed to have committed suicide. Of those, 51 deaths have been confirmed as suicides.

This is a decrease from 2012; this time last year, the Army reported as many as 131 suicides among active-duty soldiers.

The news is the opposite for reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty.

In August, the Army reported eight suspected suicides. Five of the soldiers were in the Army National Guard and three were in the Army Reserve.

One of the eight deaths has been confirmed as a suicide.

In July, the Army reported 10 suspected suicides among soldiers in this population. Three cases have been confirmed.

So far this year, as many as 102 soldiers from this population are believed to have killed themselves. That’s 22 more than the 80 reported this time last year.

The Army must focus on suicide prevention throughout the year, Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. John Campbell said in September, which was suicide awareness month.

“This is something we can’t just look at in one month,” Campbell said, according to an Army news story. “It has to be a 365-day mission to make sure we can provide our soldiers with the tools they need to deal with the stressors of everyday life, and help them understand that seeking help is a sign of strength not weakness.”

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Air Force Times

This Week's Air Force Times

CrossFit vs. unit PT
Troops will do the training plans in a $2.5 million study

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook