Army and Navy Set Suicide Records

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Two of the four branches of the U.S. military have already set records this year for suicides, with the other two branches not far behind.


As of November 11, 323 active duty personnel had taken their lives. This total eclipsed the previous high of 310 in 2009.


Of the 323 suicides, 168 belonged to the U.S. Army, whose worst mark was 165, set last year. The U.S. Navy also has compiled a new high for suicides: 53. Its previous record was 52, also established in 2011.


Based on current totals, it is possible that the Air Force and Marine Corps will set new suicide records as well. The Air Force recorded 60 suicides in 2010, and already has 56 for this year. The Marines are only six away from their worst total to date: 52 (set in 2009).


The Department of Defense continues to search for answers to what it calls an “epidemic” of suicides.


Military suicide researcher David Rudd told USA Today that suicides are still rising, even though the war in Iraq is over and the Afghanistan conflict is winding down.


“The reason you’re going to see record numbers is because these wars are drawing down and these young men and women are returning home,” Rudd said. “When they return home, that’s where the conflicts surface.” Almost 85% if the suicides were associated with failed relationships.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Army, Navy Suicides At Record High (by Gregg Zoroya, USA Today)

Army Suicides For 2012 Surpass Last Year’s Numbers (by Lolita C. Baldor, Associated Press)

Army Releases October Suicide Data (Department of Defense)

Army Suicide Record Set in July (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

U.S. Troop Suicides Surge (Again) (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


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