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Suicide: The Biggest Killer in the U.S. Military

Written by Gary North on February 1, 2013

In 2012, there were 349 military suicides. There were 311 combat-related deaths.

Then there was this: “More than half of troops who killed themselves had never deployed from the U.S., and 85 percent never saw combat.”

What is going on here?

First, most suicides were in the Army and Marines.

Second, there was a higher percentage in newly formed units.

The military says it is working to reduce this figure, but the problem has persisted for years.

Data collected from 2010 showed that half of all service members who committed suicide were struggling with a failed personal relationship (intimate or other), and 44 percent had looming legal or administrative problems such as disciplinary punishments, or had recently been denied promotion.

As for troops who have been traumatized by service, new therapies are in the offing. Preliminary results from a multiyear University of Utah study involving service members who have attempted suicide or talked of it indicate the Pentagon should move away from its emphasis on long-term hospitalization and outpatient treatments. According to David M. Rudd, the project director, very brief cognitive-therapy treatments — as little as 12 hours total — reduced suicide attempts “by almost 70 percent relative to treatment as usual.”

Continue Reading on www.bloomberg.com

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29 thoughts on “Suicide: The Biggest Killer in the U.S. Military

  1. Another factor in the military suicide rate I have from someone who's been deployed over there is medics are handing out SSRI's to soldiers like M-and-M's. They're having the same effect on soldiers that SSRI's have been having on teens in America who are indiscriminately prescribed anti-depressants, then go kill themselves or shoot up a crowded school or theatre.
    But in Washington and the corporate owned media, it's always "Guns bad! Guns are the problem! Ban them!"

    I mean, every other commercial I see on the telly starts out like this: "Feeling blue? Ask your doctor about one of these!" And the infomercial ends with legalese about the dangers and risks of taking these little pills that no one ever reads anyway.

  2. […] Suicide: The Biggest Killer in the U.S. Military […]

  3. Seymour Kleerly says:

    Thanks George!

  4. I would like someone to break this down by ethnic group since the article mentions disciplinary issues and recent promotion denials. Also relationship issues.

    Why do I ask? Cause disciplinary issues are indicators of deeper problems OR a serious lowering of standards that let people in the military that never should have been there OR the gross inability of the military to assist spouses left behind while the other spouse is gone OR, and you won't like this, the blatant reverse discrimination to pull qualified white males off of promotion list to ensure enough unqualified minorities get promoted…and yes that happens. Why else does the military DESTROY all recordings/records of promotion boards?

  5. […] killed themselves had never deployed from the U.S., and 85 percent never saw combat.”See on teapartyeconomist.com About Brian AlexzanderConnect with me on Google+ at +Brian Alexzander Help Spread The Word […]

  6. This is systemic throughout our entire social body – gvt, public, private. It has taken the left 50 years (from the 60's) of continued extortion of imaginary plight of minorities to undermine the rights of everyone else (the white, educated working class). My department is 95% hispanic – recently I applied for an assistant mgr position – I have been with the department for 1.5 years – been told by all my peers and management that I have a promising path in this department to advance – my employee reviews are extremely positive and what just happened this last month? Three hispanics were hired (by another hispanic, mind you) from outside our department with no knowledge of our processes for those very positions I am reportedly a perfect candidate for. I just took the compliance course for "diversity" among the workplace. What a fuqing joke! And I bet you don't have to guess that I am white.

  7. When I was stationed at GTMO back in early 1962, we had a guy committ suicide because his girl friend and own family dis-owned him. He was a really nice guy, and never exhibited any signs of depression. Today we have school teachers in some places reccomending anti-depressants for kids in grade school. Like Danno said, that is probably where it starts.

  8. Sorry, Bogusbob, American school teachers can recommend anything from a bandaid to reform school, but a qualified doctor must diagnose and the parents must agree after thorough exams, counseling etc. I am both a teacher and a parent on those front lines. Teachers have no blame in this!!! Depression is often very tough to diagnose. Our daughter is bi-polar, (chemical depression, not clinical depression) and has been on anti-depressents (sic?) for over 20 years. She is a highly competent nurse. Those meds SAVED her life. (By the way, I also was at GTMO in September of 62…USO show. Group of girls from a Texas college. All the civilians had been evacuated because of pending Cuban missle crisis…very exciting time….we girls had no clue…).

  9. SpiderMike says:

    I served in the Army for three years, 1965 to 1968, to include two tours with the 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam. I have no memory of ever even hearing of a suicide. I'm sure there is more stress in today's society but not so much that would lead to these numbers. If 50% never deployed and 85% never saw combat, well then, we have a real problem with our young. I don't think I've heard the word "cope" for thirty years. We've turned boys into girls and girls into boys. We've made everyone a hyphenated American. We've made homosexuality something to be celebrated. We put bike helmets on kids and walk them to school. We bring "grieve counselors" in to soothe the little kiddies nerves if there is bad news on the TV from a half a world away. And if that doesn't work, there's always a pill. Heck, I never even had an aspirin until well into my adult years. Quite frankly, I'm surprised we have anybody at all who has the mental and physical toughness to pull the trigger. The military used to be SERVICE, not a job. You went in because you wanted to serve, not make a comparable amount of money as some guy at IBM. How to solve the problem? Start with a draft. Most jobs can be done by continuing pool of eighteen year old two-year draftees. One thing this will accomplish is to reduce the number of married soldiers. They cost more and have more problems. Two secondary benefits of a draft would be a reduced reliance on women and homosexuals. Near instant communication does not help either. In Vietnam, it took a week for a letter to reach home and another week for an answer. The married guys did not have to worry about every little problem back home and most all of them loved the break and their geographical bachelor status. I know, things have changed. But they have not changed for the better. The material advances are nice but society has been irreparably damaged. Name any single societal problem and I can draw a straight line back to a numbskull liberal policy enacted thirty years ago. You reap what you sow. Liberals must be identified early in life and institutionalized. Whoa, now I feel better!

  10. You've got it, Danno! That's the facts about it, but you won't read about it in the government and corporate (same thing) media, because control of the population is the bottom-line, along with money, of course. America has become one of the saddest countries on the planet, but people will have to start confronting it, or the bad guys will win.

  11. retired teacher says:

    Actually, teachers ARE in on all the student study team meetings at school for children with problems. The regular ed teacher, the special ed teacher, the school psychologist, and others go over the recommendations including the use of drugs. Yes, as a special ed teacher, I saw it with my own eyes.

    Every euro-american boy in my own son's second grade class was medicated! (except mine) Along with several Asian boys, too.

    one of my son's friend was on five different meds.

  12. retired teacher says:

    The teachers do not PRESCRIBE the drugs. Instead, we sit in on the student study team with the parent and up to ten "professionals" where options are discussed including notes from the child's doctor re medication. The teacher also fills out a form where you check boxes regarding the child's behaviour. The results are used by the doctor to help in diagnosis of 'adhd'

    The child is then, usually, medicated.

  13. retired teacher says:

    I am NOT anti drug.
    But it is important to know that teachers in many districts DO have a say in the outcome when they are on a student study team.

  14. barb patton says:

    thank you – have a husband that served in Vietnam and have a son on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan – sure they have a few peoblems, like sleeping badly, on and of – but they have learned to cope – and that is as it should be. We have got a country full of wimps, whuzzes and homosexuals led by a latte president who is hell bent and determines to saw America off at the knees. God help our country and our military

  15. Bob Marshall says:

    Goggle SSRI Stories then click on Index to SSRI Stories.

  16. 2WarAbnVet says:

    I don’t remember this suicide problem, or the general attitude of “poor me” whining when we were involved in a long shitty war in Vietnam, and our fellow citizens reviled us at every opportunity. Fragging in the latter part of the war, yes, but suicide, no. Could it be a generational thing?

  17. I served 20 yrs 3 mos 10 days and retired from Army service. Been almost 30 yra since retiring. One thing has become abundantlt clear. Almost all who served in some branch of the military have a much better appreciation for things American than those who never served. Also, America is, to my knowledge, the ONLY country in the world that does NOT require its young people to give 2 yrs service (don't know about mexico). ALL Americans would benefit with reinstatement of the draft – to include boys AND girls. Service would NOT have to be in a military branch, but every young person should be required to give 2 yrs service (a bunch of major cities woulod greatly benefit by having an army of young people clearing and cleaning blighted areas).

  18. I suppose ideally and substance can be said to not be as good as a chrystal clear mind . But we don't live a ideal world . These antidepressants are poison . The people that prescribe them operate on an unsupported notion that there is some sort of imbalance or neuro transmitters. That's pretty much just alchemy. After years in the medical field my personal observations tell me That a cohesive small unit, a Spouse that's not screwing around on you while you're out in the Bush, and occasional drink with friends or passing the pipe around a campfire are all preferable to labeling a trooper and giving them the psychoactive drug de jour (sp) And as with anything moderation is key. Our society is quick to label people for life with no way to redeem themselves and finding themselves with no way out they kill themselves and maybe take someone else with them.

  19. Our Biggest A(s)(s) Moron Anytime “obama” and hillary along with other government officials have now ushered in the new era of Sodom and Gomorrah. That is their legacy you heard me correctly the Sodom and Gomorrah spoken of in Genesis chapter 18 and 19 the stage set by the clown and thief. Genesis chapter 18 verse 20 & 21. As we Americans continue down this road, will obama or hillary along with their aids take responsibility for the coming destruction? That is something they have passed on to yours, their children and mine. Let’s remember other aspects of obama language, and actions, and for that one only needs to visit 2 John 1:7, which states: Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flash, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and Antichrist. … Verse 11 anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work. We Americans need to understand that obama has acted in a manner not liken to any other American president. Also, in what he has told of himself within the “Dreams of my father” admitting of smoking pot on more than two occasions and use of cocaine. These are admissions that had any of the secret service, justice department, federal department of investigation, and any other types of agencies, personnel had admitted too those persons would not have received the clearance they now enjoy. The real question is how or what has allowed obama such an above the law platform? I am not the judge, however all one has to look at is Revelation 20: verse 12 ……The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. Verse 13…. and each person was judged according to what he had done. Now to bring thing to an understanding Romans 8 verse 3 for what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful mature. This is how obama and demarcates and other have had their way the all breaches of government. However, rest on the scope of what these antichrist persons are up against. Revelation 8 verse Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousands. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang. “Worthy is the lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise.” Inclosing obama and his are the loser in the end.

  20. Both my children were born premature: both were hyperactive and could not concentrate or succeed in school. Both were in special ed. My son exhibited significant signs of dislexia. As a teacher myself, I knew something was very wrong. The head of the
    Dallas Parkland Pediatric Neurology Department did extensive observation and testing (with extensive input from me and their teachers) and diagnosed them both. Their medication was carefully monitored by the doc, me and their teachers with frequent input and changed when necessary. Medication allowed them to focus, study and succeed. Later on, when puberty revealed my daughter's bi-polar disease, it took almost 10 years to get it properly diagnosed after years of various doc's, counselors, etc. Until she was put on Prozac, she was an absolute mess and very self-destructive….BEFORE her proper meds she tried to commit suicide at least 3 times. We all thank God for Prozac. She self-monitors and continues to prosper.
    Proper diagnosis and monitoring means the difference between success and failure on the pediatric medication front.

  21. Our Biggest A(s)(s) Moron Anytime “obama” and hillary along with other government officials have now ushered in the new era of Sodom and Gomorrah. That is their legacy you heard me correctly the Sodom and Gomorrah spoken of in Genesis chapter 18 and 19 the stage set by the clown and thief. Genesis chapter 18 verse 20 & 21. As we Americans continue down this road, will obama or hillary along with their aids take responsibility for the coming destruction? That is something they have passed on to yours, their children and mine. Let’s remember other aspects of obama language, and actions, and for that one only needs to visit 2 John 1:7, which states: Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flash, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and Antichrist. … Verse 11 anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work. We Americans need to understand that obama has acted in a manner not liken to any other American president. Also, in what he has told of himself within the “Dreams of my father” admitting of smoking pot on more than two occasions and use of cocaine. These are admissions that had any of the secret service, justice department, federal department of investigation, and any other types of agencies, personnel had admitted too those persons would not have received the clearance they now enjoy. The real question is how or what has allowed obama such an above the law platform? I am not the judge, however all one has to look at is Revelation 20: verse 12 ……The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. Verse 13…. and each person was judged according to what he had done. Now to bring these points to an understanding Romans 8 verse 3 for what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature. This is how obama and demarcates and others have had their way with all breaches of government. However, rest on this scope of what these antichrist persons are up against. Revelation 4 verse 8, Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousands. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang. “Worthy is the lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise.” Inclosing obama and his are the loser in the end.

  22. David in MA says:

    My first thought was, How many of these military people were on zoloft, prozac or some simular "medication",
    and my second thought was, how many of these people had taken rittilan as a child?
    My third thought was, how many were whimps or homo's.

  23. One Time Lieutenant says:

    SpiderMike, excellent comments. After the Korean War I resigned my Commision in the Army after approximately 7 years service in three little shooting wars. After the initial feeling of freedom to try new things, I suddenly experienced a feeling of loss, I no longer belonged in an organization that had standards, discipline and a sense of value & self worth. Today one would call it a mild case of separatrion anxiety. But we just had to start all over again, society in general had high standards of self reliance in those days, and I cannot remember any former serving members of the Military giving up and
    committing suicide whatever bad deals we may have got. I think the remarks about a modern lack of purpose and self discipline are right on the spot. In the Army of those days if you had a problem – the attitude was – solve it !

  24. NO to the draft! That is slavery!!

    I think the military wear down the men's natural energy by rigorous activity, affecting them physically and mentally.

    I want our boys at HOME in America, not some cesspool of a third world country.

    Protect our country, on our borders.

  25. Affirmative action in the military? It seems that the ethnics can't compete with the whites, so therefore the mentally ill hierarchy in our government make laws to advance the ethnic, lowering tests, etc. The excellence of the country gone down hill..lost.

    The ungodly third world ethnics can't have everything in their country, so they come to the U.S. to steal from us. Blame our government. I believe in segregation.

    God warned us, there will be those that will try to steal our blessings, our wealth. The enemy within want to destroy this white Judeo/Christian nation…

  26. Samson Firestarter says:

    If Washington Had Started The Draft During OIF/OEF, We Would Not Have This Problem……Less Combat Stress, Longer Time With Family And Slacker Liberal Youth Getting an Education On Why America Works"Old School"

  27. God warned us of Pharma….drugs

    Our children have had drugs shoveled down their throats for decades…then as adults. Is it any wonder we have turmoil?

    My husband is 83 years old. During the 52 years of marriage, he's taken pharma maybe twice. He took one of them one day, and dumped the drug. The other drug was taken just for a few days. He often tells me, "if it's not broken, don't try to fix it". He looks to be 60 years old, is in fit condition. He walks, tries to eat well.

    The enemy within has used every tactic imaginable. Infiltrated all our institutions, from government, public education, money system, religion, multiculturalism, media/entertainment, food/drink, pharma, legal and illegal…the list goes on. I feel The enemy within are demonic. God warned us.

    READ, and STUDY God's Word. The American people have had political correctness foisted on us for 50 to 60 years. It has to stop! If all knew God's Word, our nation would not be as it is today. The enemy within has opened our gates to the world, and ungodly nations.

  28. My son was on Ritalin as a child. It calmed him, allowed him to focus and learn. He is now almost 50….was in the Marines for 8 years, has a successful marriage (his first), two teenage children, a large successful ranch and business, and he and his family are higly respected in their small community. Drugs aren't the main problem…the proper diagnosis and handling of the drugs are…just like guns…the guns aren't the problem, the people who handle them can be!

  29. Hollywood produces violence. Who on earth would create a movie, ' bullet to the head"???????????????I truly believe that many video games and movies are the causation and our children are exposed to these drug commercials, violent video games and movies which produce these behaviors. The only way to cure this issue is to dispose of your television and go back to reading books. Some of the best books ever written was the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation of November 15, 1777.