Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 2
regeneratia

The Epidemic Of USA Military Suicide

27 posts in this topic

The Epidemic Of Military Suicide

By Allen Frances, MD | September 19, 2012

Quote source: http://www.psychiatr...e/10168/2103476

With understandable urgency, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has made suicide one of his top priorities, instructing commanders at all levels to feel acutely accountable for it. The numbers are startling. On average 1 active duty soldier is killing himself each day--twice the number of combat deaths and twice the civilian rate.

Suicides have jumped dramatically since 2005 and increased by 18% in just the last year. The DOD and VA are groping for explanations and plans of action--clearly, just commanding the commanders to prevent suicide can't possibly do very much. And, sadly, psychiatry has no ready or certain answers, no sure way to predict or prevent suicide. Research in this area has huge methodological problems and is unlikely to bear any low hanging fruit. So, we may have to rely on obvious, common sense suggestions:

(MORE: Military Mental Health: An Army of Children)

End Quote

I think before we allow our sons and daughters feel inspired enough to fight for oil and fiber optic hubs that feed Asia, we need to consider just how the military institution cares for those people who are joining them. In this article, it addresses just how to stop this horrible trend that is harming our loved ones. I highly recommend you read the remedies in the article, and ask that you relate your thoughts on this issue.

Edited by regeneratia
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Selective service should be re-instituted. A ready pool of draft eligible young people exist in this country. If they are too fat then put them in a boot camp to trim them down first. It is the only fair answer if these wars are going to continue. Spreading the sacrifice around will slow the fervor of jumping into ill advised conflicts also.....

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Conscription?

That's your solution to suicide??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Conscription?

That's your solution to suicide??

Conscription is my solution to greatly reducing the stresses of long term, damned near unending deployments of the same guys, year after year. With a draft the "labor pool" will be vastly greater and fewer troops will be expected to serve more than a single tour in the hot spots. The greatest advantage is that it will SHARPLY FOCUS the US public on the necessity of supporting these adventures when little "Johnny" is being sent instead of the un-named kid down the block who can find work anywhere else...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was in a unit that had 2 suicides in 13 months...

Here is my opinion on it...

2 major factors...

People cannot get out of a situation. They preach the wingman concept and talk about military like it is a big family. It is not. Many people do not give a crap about you. They are worried about advancing their own careers and many are power hungry. They do not rely on logic and reason but rather tell you what to do or how things are because they can. They don't care about helping you, just telling you what to do. When troops bring up issues and try to make suggestions, they are ignored. The military is not a democracy. Troops get stuck in a bad situation and cannot get out of it because they higher-ups do not care and they cannot quit. The key is that you cannot quit. You signed a contract, you are stuck. It is a haven for lazy people because you cannot get fired but it also keeps people that want to get out.

How many of you would think that working at a dining facility is a stressful job? How many would guess that the dining facility at Langley Air Force Base, VA had 2 suicides in 13 months? People ask me if I liked my job there or if it was stressful...I think the suicides speak for themselves. It was crappy people in charge, which made ones life horrible and there was no way to get out of it.

Second major factor is seperation from loved ones. The leading causes of suicides are relationship issues and financial issues. Being away from loved ones for months or years at a time takes its toll. It is really quite simple...Suzzy has not seen Johnny in 14 months and needs someone to comfort her...she finds someone, breaks up with Johnny, not being able to handle it (because she was the one thing that was keeping him going,) finds no reason to keep going and ends it. The fact that the military pretty much requires you to spend a lot of time apart leads to relationship problems, which leads to suicide. They have a saying in the Air Force...if you come in married, you won't be for long...

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Conscription is my solution to greatly reducing the stresses of long term, damned near unending deployments of the same guys, year after year. With a draft the "labor pool" will be vastly greater and fewer troops will be expected to serve more than a single tour in the hot spots. The greatest advantage is that it will SHARPLY FOCUS the US public on the necessity of supporting these adventures when little "Johnny" is being sent instead of the un-named kid down the block who can find work anywhere else...

Wouldn't help...would probably make the problem worse...We have no shortages of people that WANT to sign up and do it willingly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Selective service should be re-instituted. A ready pool of draft eligible young people exist in this country. If they are too fat then put them in a boot camp to trim them down first. It is the only fair answer if these wars are going to continue. Spreading the sacrifice around will slow the fervor of jumping into ill advised conflicts also.....

Why, so we can force them to kill themself too? Guys are killing them selfs at record pace and choose to be there. Imagine the body count of those who would be forced to be there. No, maybe it would be a better option to just leave places like Afgan. There is no reason to be there at this point anyway.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why, so we can force them to kill themself too? Guys are killing them selfs at record pace and choose to be there. Imagine the body count of those who would be forced to be there. No, maybe it would be a better option to just leave places like Afgan. There is no reason to be there at this point anyway.

I didn't say that a draft should be instituted so we could stay in any place. I said it would relieve the stress on the undermanned force so none of them had to go on multiple tours AND so we'd think harder about going at all.
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't say that a draft should be instituted so we could stay in any place. I said it would relieve the stress on the undermanned force so none of them had to go on multiple tours AND so we'd think harder about going at all.

We aren't understaffed...we have been REDUCING our numbers. If you want us to think harder about going to war, vote Obama.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With understandable urgency, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has made suicide one of his top priorities,

Taken out of context that's freaking hilarious.

Don't get me wrong I spent 5yrs. in the green machine and I understand the stresses that go along with it. hell just getting through basic and AIT can make some people snap let alone long deployments overseas. hope who ever gets in the oval office backs off on the military long enough for them to fall back and regroup.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We aren't understaffed...we have been REDUCING our numbers. If you want us to think harder about going to war, vote Obama.

We clearly ARE understaffed when the same people are being deployed 3 and 4 times. Some will go that often because they want to but I think that's rare. And I give Obama credit for pulling the plug on Iraq. I didn't at first but the longer all this goes on - especially in light of the crap in Afghanistan - I realize the futility of our plans. But just because he is pulling down our troop levels doesn't mean he's solving the greater problem of how to deal with a resurgent enemy. We WILL have to contest with them - either there or on our own soil. But it needs to be done smarter and with much less concern about who thinks we are "right".
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We clearly ARE understaffed when the same people are being deployed 3 and 4 times. Some will go that often because they want to but I think that's rare. And I give Obama credit for pulling the plug on Iraq. I didn't at first but the longer all this goes on - especially in light of the crap in Afghanistan - I realize the futility of our plans. But just because he is pulling down our troop levels doesn't mean he's solving the greater problem of how to deal with a resurgent enemy. We WILL have to contest with them - either there or on our own soil. But it needs to be done smarter and with much less concern about who thinks we are "right".

They go that often in the Army, but not in the Air Force. My career field deploys every year and a half on active duty for 4-6 months. Even with shorter, less frequent deployments, the suicide numbers are still bad. The number of deployments people go on does not have anything to do with being understaffed. It is quite simple, at least for active duty...On active duty, you get paid 365 days a year. If in the Army you are either at home training or deployed fighting. What do you think is a better way to spend government money? Money is also the issue in the guard and reserve. It costs a lot more to send a new troop through training, tech school, give him all new supplies, ect, than it is to just send someone that is already trained. No reason to spend money on a new troop when you have someone under contract that can go at lesser cost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was in a unit that had 2 suicides in 13 months...

Here is my opinion on it...

2 major factors...

People cannot get out of a situation. They preach the wingman concept and talk about military like it is a big family. It is not. Many people do not give a crap about you. They are worried about advancing their own careers and many are power hungry. They do not rely on logic and reason but rather tell you what to do or how things are because they can. They don't care about helping you, just telling you what to do. When troops bring up issues and try to make suggestions, they are ignored. The military is not a democracy. Troops get stuck in a bad situation and cannot get out of it because they higher-ups do not care and they cannot quit. The key is that you cannot quit. You signed a contract, you are stuck. It is a haven for lazy people because you cannot get fired but it also keeps people that want to get out.

How many of you would think that working at a dining facility is a stressful job? How many would guess that the dining facility at Langley Air Force Base, VA had 2 suicides in 13 months? People ask me if I liked my job there or if it was stressful...I think the suicides speak for themselves. It was crappy people in charge, which made ones life horrible and there was no way to get out of it.

Second major factor is seperation from loved ones. The leading causes of suicides are relationship issues and financial issues. Being away from loved ones for months or years at a time takes its toll. It is really quite simple...Suzzy has not seen Johnny in 14 months and needs someone to comfort her...she finds someone, breaks up with Johnny, not being able to handle it (because she was the one thing that was keeping him going,) finds no reason to keep going and ends it. The fact that the military pretty much requires you to spend a lot of time apart leads to relationship problems, which leads to suicide. They have a saying in the Air Force...if you come in married, you won't be for long...

I saw much the same when I was in the Army almost 20 years ago. There are lots of petty sergeants who made Staff Sergeant (E6) in like 5 or 6 years and then stayed there 10 to 15 more, and are so very bitter and angry at anything and anyone, but they will not quit because they want that 20 year retirement, so they make everyone else miserable and stomp on anything that is not their own idea.

I also agree that most suicides are probably family related, due to something at home happening and the soldier being able to do Nothing about it. In a time of smartphones and facebook, news travels really, really fast. It used to be if you were deployed you had to wait till you got home before you found out your wife had left, or that your grandma died, now you know within minutes of anything that happens.

I blame the smartphones, as well as the long deployments.

As to consciption, that is very naive, IMHO, throwing under trained conscripts into foreign wars is a good way to get the suicide rate down only in comparison to the five to ten times more wounded and dead that will be created. Units go back over and over because they are experienced and THAT is what keeps their soldiers alive.

Edited by DieChecker
3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if they took into account the type of units the suicides were happening in, if they were line units or REMF's. I have more experience with line unit's and most of them have their crap together. but it seemed to me a higher percentage of the rear echelon soldiers i delt with were off balance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if they took into account the type of units the suicides were happening in, if they were line units or REMF's. I have more experience with line unit's and most of them have their crap together. but it seemed to me a higher percentage of the rear echelon soldiers i delt with were off balance.

Could be.

Also it depends on the training/readyness of the unit, IMHO. When I was in Ft Stewart Georgia, I had the honor of acting as the OpFor (opposing force) for many National Guard units. At that time, the Nation Guard (NG) was a BBQ outfit, at least in Georgia and it was not uncommon for a single squad (8 men) of Regular Army guys to roll up on an entire Company (80+) of NG and totally trash them, sending them all off running in random directions into the swamps and woods. It was great fun. That is probably not the case anymore, but the point is the same that those units that are poorly trained and supervised (officers) are going to have a lot more problems, not just with suicide, but with everything.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if they took into account the type of units the suicides were happening in, if they were line units or REMF's. I have more experience with line unit's and most of them have their crap together. but it seemed to me a higher percentage of the rear echelon soldiers i delt with were off balance.

How would one find those questions out? Have any ideas?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"On average 1 active duty soldier is killing himself each day--twice the number of combat deaths and twice the civilian rate."

Twice the civilian rate for the age group or civilian rate overall? That makes a huge difference as the group most prone to suicide is males age 17-24.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"On average 1 active duty soldier is killing himself each day--twice the number of combat deaths and twice the civilian rate."

Twice the civilian rate for the age group or civilian rate overall? That makes a huge difference as the group most prone to suicide is males age 17-24.

Going back to the OP link, it appears to be basically a pacifist opinion piece. The related article requires Registration, so I've not read that yet. But clearly this is a spin job on the numbers. It could easily be that this is not military related, but age, sex and education related. After all something like 80% of active duty soldiers are still within the USA, and subject to all the regular activities other young adults have to deal with.

I'm sure that the stress of combat, and the stress of long deployments comes into it, but I haven't seen the data to support that yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll be glad when we get out of Afghanistan. We have been over there too long and I hope another war isn't started. I don't think it is so now but there for years the same people were doing tour after tour and with things that go on in a war its no wonder some commit suicide.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if they took into account the type of units the suicides were happening in, if they were line units or REMF's. I have more experience with line unit's and most of them have their crap together. but it seemed to me a higher percentage of the rear echelon soldiers i delt with were off balance.

I cannot say for sure but speaking from my own personal experience, the type of unit does not matter. I am in services. We do Food, Fitness, Lodging, Rec, and Morturary. We had 2 suicides in 13 months...both worked in the dinning facility...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Meanwhile, you think the Anthrax vaccine that the military used the totally failed to pass thru the FDA wouldn't have something to do with the suicide rate?

You never question the toxins the military put into your body and the experiements they may have done to you while serving for your country?

Man o man, my son is highly endoctrinated against serving. He knows about all the yucky, maleficent, health-challenging things the military does to our loved ones, including exposing them to depleted uranium (the health-challenging results for which the military refuses to take responsiblity. He KNOWS!! And so do his friends. If they are going to come to my house to play the machines we buy for our son, they have to listen to my rants.

I saw much the same when I was in the Army almost 20 years ago. There are lots of petty sergeants who made Staff Sergeant (E6) in like 5 or 6 years and then stayed there 10 to 15 more, and are so very bitter and angry at anything and anyone, but they will not quit because they want that 20 year retirement, so they make everyone else miserable and stomp on anything that is not their own idea.

I also agree that most suicides are probably family related, due to something at home happening and the soldier being able to do Nothing about it. In a time of smartphones and facebook, news travels really, really fast. It used to be if you were deployed you had to wait till you got home before you found out your wife had left, or that your grandma died, now you know within minutes of anything that happens.

I blame the smartphones, as well as the long deployments.

As to consciption, that is very naive, IMHO, throwing under trained conscripts into foreign wars is a good way to get the suicide rate down only in comparison to the five to ten times more wounded and dead that will be created. Units go back over and over because they are experienced and THAT is what keeps their soldiers alive.

Edited by regeneratia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Meanwhile, you think the Anthrax vaccine that the military used the totally failed to pass thru the FDA wouldn't have something to do with the suicide rate?

You never question the toxins the military put into your body and the experiements they may have done to you while serving for your country?

Man o man, my son is highly endoctrinated against serving. He knows about all the yucky, maleficent, health-challenging things the military does to our loved ones, including exposing them to depleted uranium (the health-challenging results for which the military refuses to take responsiblity. He KNOWS!! And so do his friends. If they are going to come to my house to play the machines we buy for our son, they have to listen to my rants.

It certainly could be a factor with the multiple shots/vaccines everyone gets. But, I've never heard of uranium causing depression. As I posted earlier, I don't think the rate is so much different then what young men would have anyway. Especially with the stress of combat.

If you don't want your son to enter the military that is certainly within your rights to try to convince him of that the military is not for him. But, many (maybe Most) never see combat, and never come within miles of any uranium, prosper greatly by VA college money, VA home loans, technical training and by gaining a sense of duty, loyalty, hard work, respect, and confidence. I'd guess that 75% of people employed by the military never see combat, and 99% never see a uranium round.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I cannot say for sure but speaking from my own personal experience, the type of unit does not matter. I am in services. We do Food, Fitness, Lodging, Rec, and Morturary. We had 2 suicides in 13 months...both worked in the dinning facility...

Hey just saw you replied to my post! but you kind of missed my point the unit you say you belong to is what we described as a rear echelon and in my experience the more off balance soldiers. so you really prove my point. did they ever figure out the reason behind the suicides job stress, personal problems?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I remember right the only soldiers (Army) that needed No Background check.... Security Clearance... was the cooking staff. It can be deduced that the military cook units are not the most educated, or socially responsible people in the military. Quite possibly many are there because they could not pass the Background Checks to get into the Infantry, or other Combat Arms units.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if there was more cheating in the lower ranks, there would be less suicides.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 2

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.