Bombshell Report Shakes Military

( – The defender of the Free World, the US military, has just been jolted by a Pentagon report revealing that during the five-year period concluding in 2019, U.S. soldiers were almost nine times more likely to succumb to suicide than to enemy fire.

This investigation, released in May by the Defense Health Agency, underscored suicide as the preeminent cause of death among active-duty soldiers between 2014 and 2019, with 883 suicides recorded.

In comparison, accidents ranked second with 814 fatalities, and combat-related deaths totaled 96, USA Today reports.

The suicide statistics from 2019 were collated before the implementation of certain Army and Pentagon measures aimed at curbing suicide, including the establishment of a workforce to address detrimental behaviors such as alcohol abuse that may contribute to suicide.

Moreover, the number of combat deaths diminished, declining from 31 in 2014 to 16 in 2019, concurrent with a reduction in deployments to conflict zones in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Despite these efforts, suicide rates among active-duty soldiers have escalated.

As of 2024, there have already been 55 recorded suicides. Army officials acknowledged the rising suicide rates within the broader U.S. society, a trend reflected within military ranks as well.

They also discussed the adoption of new strategies aimed at mitigating suicide rates.

The suicide rate among soldiers, calculated as deaths per 100,000 personnel, has generally been on an upward trajectory since 2019, when it stood at 28.8 per 100,000.

The rate increased to 36.2 in 2020, slightly decreased to 36.1 in 2021, and then dropped to 28.9 in 2022.

However, it surged to 36.6 in 2023. By May 2024, the rate was recorded at 31.8 per 100,000, according to USA TODAY.

The national suicide rate has also seen a significant increase, rising by 37% since 2000. In 2021, the latest year for which data is available, the suicide rate per 100,000 Americans was 14.1.

The issue of suicide has been particularly pressing in Alaska, where, during and subsequent to the study’s timeframe, the rate of suicide among soldiers was notably high.

At Fort Wainwright, situated in Alaska’s remote and cold interior, 11 soldiers took their own lives between January 2014 and March 2019.

This alarming trend led to the formation of a commission that recommended an allocation of over $200 million to enhance barracks for soldiers and to provide sheltered garages for the maintenance of their combat vehicles.

However, despite increased military spending, the issue of suicide persisted. In 2019, eight soldiers stationed in Alaska died by suicide, followed by seven in 2020, and an alarming 17 in 2021.

The Army significantly increased the number of mental health professionals in Alaska, which contributed to a reduction in suicides to six in 2022.

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