June Army suicide rate up
The U.S. Army suffered 32 suicides in June, the highest number for a single month since the suicide rate in the Army began to spike in January 2009.
The boost in the suicide rate for June is likely being driven by the "continued stresses on the force" caused by the Iraq and Afghan wars, said Col. Chris Philbrick, the director of the Army's suicide prevention task force. The Army has poured extensive manpower and money into getting a handle on the suicide rate, and until last month had begun to see some tentative signs that the suicide rate was trending downward among active duty troops.
The June numbers, however, represent a disappointing setback, and suggest that after nine years of combat, the Army is showing some serious signs of strain. The initial results from the first two weeks of July suggest that the suicide rate for this month will not be as high.
So far this year 80 active duty soldiers have committed suicide or are suspected of having committed suicide, down from 88 through the first six months of last year. The Army National Guard, by contrast, has seen 65 suicides in 2010, up from 42 last year.
The total number of Army suicides in June was about the same as the number of Army troops who were killed in Afghanistan last month in what was the deadliest month for U.S. and NATO forces of the nine-year-old war.
U.S. Army officials are at a bit of a loss to explain the increase in National Guard suicides, which could be linked to the combined stress of the war and the growing strain on the U.S. economy. "There is no indication that the National Guard's operational tempo has increased," Philbrick said.
| July 16, 2010; 1:54 PM ET
Save & Share: Previous: Syrian ambassador challenges U.S. official on Israel nukes
Next: Netanyahu: 'America is a thing you can move very easily'
Posted by: twhite8611 | July 16, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ArmyGI | July 16, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: lennybeachboy999 | July 17, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: lennybeachboy999 | July 17, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: eliseom | July 18, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: eliseom | July 18, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: maineginger | July 19, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.