524 SUICIDES IN 2012: More Accurate Number of Military Suicides Last Year Revealed by LA Times Investigation

A More Complete Tally of U.S. Military Suicides Last Year: 524

DoD Refuses to Release Number of Military Suicides by its Service Members not on Active Duty; Claims Data Unknown, Not Tracked

by Alan Zarembo
Los Angeles Times, June 17, 2013

In data compiled by the Defense Department on military suicides, perhaps the most surprising statistic is that between 2008 and 2011, 52% of service members who took their own lives had never been deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq.

That figure, which challenges the popular belief that exposure to war is the primary driver of a surge in suicides, became the basis for an L.A. Times story Sunday.

But another statistic in the story also deserves attention: 524.

That is the number of suicides in the military last year.

To those who have followed the issue, it may seem like a misprint. The Pentagon recently announced that the 2012 total was 349.

The Defense Department, however, has only tracked suicides of military personnel who were on active duty when they died.

View LA Times Photo Gallery on Military Suicide:

http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jun/16/local/la-me-military-suicide-20130616

For a more complete tally, The Times went directly to the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines for the data.

That added three suicides to the Defense Department’s figure, bringing the active-duty count for 2012 to 352.

More significantly, it added 172 suicides of reservists and National Guard members who were on inactive status at the time of their deaths.

Little is known about the suicides of service members not on active duty.

Military researchers say they are compiling and analyzing the demographics of the victims, their deployment histories and other characteristics.

The Defense Department has yet to publish their suicide rate.

Read the rest of this story:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-military-suicide-20130617,0,4715191.story

6 Responses

  1. This is not the fault of DoD … truly.

    In this case — and many others like it — the responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of the congressional committees which have the duty of “federal agency oversight.”

    Government agencies have and always will seek to operate outside the critical eye of public scrutiny.

    In the case of suicide data being withheld and hidden — even “covered up” one may easily suggest — this is being wholeheartedly blessed and endorsed by the 113th congress, de facto.

    In my view and best judgement, the blood is on the 112th and 113th Congress’ hands … and they should be considered a national disgrace for the many failures to execute the duties of the office which they hold.

    What a shame, what a shame, what a shame.

    • Like a divorce, there are certainly degrees of “blame” that each agency involved must acknowledge. However that being said this remains true:

      The DoD alone, and not the 112th-113th Congress, has hidden, lied about, a wide range of behavioral issues, mental, spiritual, substance abuse issues within their ranks.

      It is the DoD alone who that engaged in a massive propaganda war to keep the public “dumb and numb” to the issues at hand.

      It is the DoD who consistently hides and skews negative issues, such as suicides from the American public.

      The DoD is responsible for misusing the funding it has used for suicide prevention an resilience programs that are in fact failed experiments-at the expense of the uniformed sons and daughters of this nation.

      It was the DoD, and not the 112th-113th Congress, who contacted and contracted the university in PA to conducted the largest psychological controlled study in U.S. history on our military personnel.

      It is the DoD and not the 112th-113th Congress who must be blamed for the misuse, and lack of controls of medications.

      It is the DoD alone, who seeks to find a quick-one size fits all way to shut down, and or control the moral compass of its troops in order to numb them to the consequences of war, and other traumatic experiences.

      It is the DoD who have ignored and failed to address the moral and spiritual injuries that are almost always connected to “PTS”, and Suicidal behavior.

      It is the DoD who has allowed gross crimes that have been visited upon their troops, from those they serve with and are often under control of to go unpunished.

      It is the DoD who has allowed military provider to mislabel the psychological disorders, moral injuries, in order to deny them care, and benefits’ for which they due.

      Senior Commanders with direct oversight of these areas-have been less than forthright in their responses to congressional question’s regarding these issues.

      The DoD laundry list of misdeeds goes on and on and on…but at the end of the day, these senior military commanders serve at the will of their senior commander- and it is he who must own the failures of those under him-his uniformed politicians who apparently will do anything to keep their jobs.

      Both the 112th-113th Congress have failed to provide the necessary oversight to the DoD. At the end of the blame game the buck stops with the American public who have failed to demand that those who they hired by election simply do their jobs….

      • Agree, sir.

        DoD, just like IRS, NSA, VA, etc., etc., all will auto-bahave as do little children … always do the easy thing which feels best at the moment with no conscious thought about anything … just act out and do things to serve thy self and the desires and needs of the self (the agency).

        Just like children with no parents (congressional oversight), these federal agencies are now running wild on the street.

        The American citizenry has become largely uninformed due to corporate media’s participation in the whole affair, and the ensuing reluctance to report stories their masters prefer they not report … ie, 100k+ suicides since 2001.

        So what can we do about?

        That is the question at hand.

      • Unlike those other, and civilian agencies, the DoD has committed the worst of betrayals. There is no comparison between those civilians who serve in other non-military agencies, I have a right to expect honesty from my fellow officers-brothers and sisters in arms. The standard is much higher for us, than civilians regardless of where they work.

        As for what needs to be done about the issues, I think we both know what has to happen to effect any positive change.

    • Have you seen the suicide totals for May 2013, you know the data that should have been released mid-June, 2013? No? Well if you haven’t don’t feel alone, the DoD has simply decided that you don’t have a right to know about their failed suicide prevention “programs” aka the research study and experiments they are actually conducting.

      Who knows, since the June 2013 suicide data is supposed to be released mid-July, it will be interesting to see how they handle their PR mess. One thing remains clear though-they won’t release the unfavorable statistics without a lot of pressure from concerned citizens.

      You can however, help the DoD PAO responsible for the release of the Monthly suicide data reports understand just how important you think it is to release the numbers in a timely manner, by contacting him at: Nathan.Christensen@osd.mil

  2. DoD is now refusing to provide monthly suicide data reports for the Army. The report is supposed to be released around the middle of the following month. However, as of today, 8 July, 2013 well over the time it should have been released (mid-June), suicide data for May has not been released.

    The American public is generally ignorant about soldier/veteran suicides. We can’t really blame them as there simply are not enough articles like the one written by Alan Zarembo.

    That being said, it really is down to those of us who are up to speed about this topic, need to educate the public, and pressure the DoD to consistently provide the suicide data in, in a standardized format each month. You can help the DoD PAO responsible for the release of the Monthly suicide data reports understand just how important you think it is to release the numbers in a timely, by contacting him at: Nathan.Christensen@osd.mil

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