Despite Record 237 Soldier Suicide Cases in 2012, Top Army Gen Says Soldiers Must Continue its Resilience Program

During a speech as part of a worldwide “suicide prevention stand down” Sept. 27, 2012, the Army’s top general, Raymond Odierno, told soldiers at Fort Myer, Va., that a record 237 soldiers are suspected of having killed themselves so far in 2012, an all time record high in the Army. In 2011, Odierno says at least 293 soldiers took their own lives. “I equate that to a whole bunch of infantry squads. That’s what I think about. How many infantry squads is that? A lot … a lot,” Odierno said. Army leaders have invested more than $125 million into what they call “resilience training,” a philosophy that is part of the service’s overall suicide prevention campaign known as Comprehensive Soldier Fitness, or CSF. All indications, given the continued record pace of suicides in 2012, are that the CSF program is a failure. Some leading psychologists critical of Comprehensive Soldier Fitness described CSF as “the world’s largest ever psychology experiment.” Odierno is shown above conferring with U.S. Army Secretary John McHugh during defense budget hearings Feb. 17, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Getty)

ODIERNO: Resilience Training to Counter Suicides

Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Ray Odierno opened the service-wide suicide prevention stand down Sept. 27 by announcing that 237 Soldiers have potentially taken their lives so far this year and that the Army will step up its resilience training to combat the problem.

by J.D. Leipold,
Army News Service, Oct. 4 2012

Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Ray Odierno opened the service-wide suicide prevention stand down Sept. 27 by announcing that 237 Soldiers have potentially taken their lives so far this year and that the Army will step up its resilience training to combat the problem.


”I think one of the most important things we want to do is to start thinking about how we build Soldier and family resilience, so we’re going to establish a Ready and Resilient Campaign plan to build the capabilities within our Soldiers to solve problems on their own and to help families deal with numerous stresses that are put upon them,” Odierno said.


Addressing the Army staff of 150 general officers and senior civilian leaders at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., the chief said the Army lost 283 Soldiers to suicide in 2011, but the rate in 2012 is higher than at this time last year.

… this is about the lives and the well-being of our most important asset, our people.

— Gen Ray Odierno, Army Chief of Staff


”I equate that to a whole bunch of infantry squads. That’s what I think about. How many infantry squads is that? A lot … a lot,” he said. “These are 283 Soldiers who raised their hands, who wanted to join an institution that is greater than themselves and they probably joined to prove themselves, maybe to move forward with their lives or maybe they just wanted to fight for their country; 283 are too many and the loss of one Soldier is one too many, no matter what the cause may be.”


Odierno said that before solutions to the suicide problem can be found, the Army needs to answer why suicides are happening and if suicide is symptomatic of a larger problem.


”In my mind, that’s what we have to think about every day,” he said, adding that he had a video teleconference Sept. 26 with almost all his commanders to discuss what they’re currently doing to beat suicide and what their plans are long-term.

Read the rest of this story:

http://www.ftleavenworthlamp.com/article/20121004/NEWS/121009493

One Response

  1. No mention of the 600 Million $’s spent on anti-psychotic drugs that cause great harm and perhaps contribute to the suicides along with those hostile and negative “disorder” labels that stick to our Warriors like elephant glue? Where is the investigation of the Behavioral Health System that continues to label and poison our INJURED Warriors, their families and vets for life?

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