by General Ray Odierno
C-SPAN, Nov. 1, 2012
BLOGBACK: Army Chief of Staff Gen Raymond Odiernio spoke at length about the Army’s current and future rolls within the Defense Department during a briefing at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. The four-star general and top Army leader omitted any mention of the ongoing epidemic of soldier suicides within his service branch. One may perhaps conclude that the Army has accepted the unusually high rate of suicide as simply a cost of doing business. By avoiding the suicide issue altogether — an issue which DoD leader Leon Panneta described as one of the agency’s ‘top priorities’ — Odierno has essentially followed the lead of his commander-in-chief. President Obama has also carefully avoided discussions of military suicides in public; most notably during the three televised debates with GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney (Romney also has avoided speaking of soldier suicides during the debates). According to the DoD and VA’s own data, at least 7,000 service members and veterans are killing themselves every year. The suicide situation seems to have evolved into America’s new ‘dirty little secret.’
General Ray Odierno talked about the future of the Army. Some of the topics he mentioned were the Defense Department budget, the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy on gays and lesbians in the military, and global threats. He said the Army had made deeper cuts than other branches of the military recently, and he vowed to maintain readiness at all costs. General Odierno also answered questions from members of the audience.
View the full video briefing:
Filed under: Resources Tagged: | Afghanistan, Army, Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington D.C., General Ray Odierno, Mental Health, Military Suicide, Overdose, PTSD, Stigma, Suicide prevention