(Image Source: U.S. Army)

BY CHRISTIAN BRYANT

New numbers released by the Pentagon show a disturbing uptick in suicides within the U.S. military.

“Three hundred and forty-nine service members killed themselves last year. That is a new record... The Army had the highest number: 182...”

The report obtained by the Associated Press shows that suicides exceeded the 295 active duty members who were killed in combat in Afghanistan last year. Meaning more U.S. servicemen and women die from suicide than in combat.

What’s worse is that experts forecast that the number of military suicides will keep growing.

A military suicide researcher told CBS News he expected an increase, although he didn’t state specifics as to why.

The outlet reported that for some, “The problem reflects severe strains on military personnel burdened with more than a decade of combat in Afghanistan and Iraq, complicated by anxiety over the prospect of being forced out of a shrinking force.”

ABC News previously reported that since the start of the Iraq War in 2003, the rate of suicide among U.S. Army soldiers had soared, with an 80 percent increase in suicides among between 2004 and 2008.

The Army has a “Suicide Prevention Program,” but some lawmakers have said the program isn’t enough to curb the epidemic-rate of suicide deaths.

But as The New York Times reports, the issue is gaining traction in the nation’s capital.

President Obama recently signed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013, and in it, the authority for commanding officers or health professionals working for the military to ask a service member about privately owned firearms, if they believe that the person is at risk of hurting himself or others.”

...something that was prohibited in the 2011 version of the act.

Also included in the act:

- A requirement for the Pentagon to create a position that oversees suicide prevention for the Defense Department and armed services, and

- A requirement for the secretary of defense to develop an encompassing suicide prevention policy for all branches of the military.

As a footnote, all of the numbers within the report on suicides are tentative, pending the completion later this year of formal pathology reports on each case.
 

There Were More Military Suicides Than Combat Deaths in 2012

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Jan 14, 2013

There Were More Military Suicides Than Combat Deaths in 2012

(Image Source: U.S. Army)

BY CHRISTIAN BRYANT

New numbers released by the Pentagon show a disturbing uptick in suicides within the U.S. military.

“Three hundred and forty-nine service members killed themselves last year. That is a new record... The Army had the highest number: 182...”

The report obtained by the Associated Press shows that suicides exceeded the 295 active duty members who were killed in combat in Afghanistan last year. Meaning more U.S. servicemen and women die from suicide than in combat.

What’s worse is that experts forecast that the number of military suicides will keep growing.

A military suicide researcher told CBS News he expected an increase, although he didn’t state specifics as to why.

The outlet reported that for some, “The problem reflects severe strains on military personnel burdened with more than a decade of combat in Afghanistan and Iraq, complicated by anxiety over the prospect of being forced out of a shrinking force.”

ABC News previously reported that since the start of the Iraq War in 2003, the rate of suicide among U.S. Army soldiers had soared, with an 80 percent increase in suicides among between 2004 and 2008.

The Army has a “Suicide Prevention Program,” but some lawmakers have said the program isn’t enough to curb the epidemic-rate of suicide deaths.

But as The New York Times reports, the issue is gaining traction in the nation’s capital.

President Obama recently signed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013, and in it, the authority for commanding officers or health professionals working for the military to ask a service member about privately owned firearms, if they believe that the person is at risk of hurting himself or others.”

...something that was prohibited in the 2011 version of the act.

Also included in the act:

- A requirement for the Pentagon to create a position that oversees suicide prevention for the Defense Department and armed services, and

- A requirement for the secretary of defense to develop an encompassing suicide prevention policy for all branches of the military.

As a footnote, all of the numbers within the report on suicides are tentative, pending the completion later this year of formal pathology reports on each case.
 

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