SUICIDE CONTEST: Study Reveals Game Among Army Commanders to See Who Could Abuse their Subordinates the Worst

Former Army Anthropologist Looking at Suicide Causes Found Numerous Cases of Army Leaders Who Held Competitions to See Who Could “Smoke” their Troops the Worst … and Push them the Brink of Suicide

by Daniel Zwerdling
National Public Radio, Feb. 6, 2014

*Editor’s Note – This story perhaps explains better than any so far in the reporting of military culture, and why so many young men and women would rather die than continue serving in the military. The “toxic leader” issue has been mostly ignored by reporters and experts examining the circumstances behind military suicide. This report is shocking, and in this writer’s opinion, reveals criminal behavior among Army leaders charged with the health and welfare of their subordinates.

Read more articles about the Army’s “Toxic Leaders” and their soldiers who kill themselves to escape from them:


NEW RECORD HIGH: Army Officials Report at Least 281 Suicides Through First 10 Months of 2012

Army Suicides for 2012 Surpass Last Year’s Numbers

Press TV, Nov 16, 2012

Ten months into 2012, the number of suspected suicides by active-duty soldiers has surpassed last year’s total, even as the Pentagon struggles to stem the persistent problem.
According to the Army, there were 20 possible suicides in October, bringing the total for the year to 166 — one more than the total for 2011. The 20 suspected soldier suicides in October is also a spike, compared to 15 in September.
U.S. Army officials have been worried about the pace of suicides this year and were concerned the numbers would surge higher than last year despite efforts to increase programs and outreach. In late September, the Army ordered a service-wide “stand down” requiring soldiers to put aside their usual duties and spend time discussing suicide prevention, including how to identify signs of trouble with their comrades.
Military leaders have wrestled with ways to identify factors that trigger suicides. While it has been linked to combat stress, many of the suicide victims are soldiers who have never deployed. Other pressures, including marital, financial or health problems, are also known causes of suicides.
Officials have also been puzzled by the rise in suicides after years of working to blunt the problem with new programs such as a regime of resilience training starting at boot camp and the hiring of more psychiatrists and other mental health workers.
Suicides among National Guard and Reserve soldiers who are not on active duty are also on pace to surpass last year’s numbers. According to the Army, there were 13 potential suicides — nine Army Guard and four Army Reserve — in October, bringing the year’s total to 114. The total for 2011 was 118. AP


More members of the U.S. Armed Forces died by their own hand – usually with a gun – during the first nine months of 2012 than had their lives ended by the enemy in Afghanistan during the same period.
During the first nine months of 2012, there were 247 suspected suicides among Army active- and reserve-duty personnel, compared to 222 military deaths among active and reserve personnel from “hostile causes” as of Sept. 28.
Nationally, suicides among active and non-active military personnel are increasing. In July alone, a record 38 confirmed or suspected suicides were recorded, including 26 among active-duty soldiers and 12 among National Guard or reserve soldiers who were not on active duty.
Mental-health problems were the top reason troops were hospitalized in 2011, according to a May Pentagon report. Nearly 22,000 troops were hospitalized with mental disorders last year, 54% more than in 2007. Time
The Army has been struggling to deal with the suicide problem since numbers began rising in 2004. This year, the average is nearly one soldier suicide a day. NPR
In comments before Congress in July, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta characterized the suicide rate as “an epidemic”. Gen. Loyd J. Austin III, the Army’s vice-chief of staff, commented, “Suicide is the toughest enemy I have faced in my 37 years in the Army”.

Read this story at its source:

DISPOSABLE SOLDIERS DOCTRINE? Top Army Officer Gen Raymond Odierno Appears Oblivious to Army’s Greatest Future Challenge, Rampant Soldier Suicides  

The Army’s most senior officer by position, Army Chief of Staff Gen Raymond Odierno, recently spoke at a Washington, D.C. event to outline the future challenges facing the Army. The four-star general did not mention the epidemic of suicides among soldiers under his leadership. In 2012, the rate of suicide in the Army is on track to set a new all-time record since suicide statistics have been collected and reported publicly. At least 330 soldiers will die by suicide in 2012 at the current rate of nearly one per day. Through the month of September, at least 248 soldiers are thought to have died from suicide in 2012, according to DoD figures. (DoD)

Future of the Army

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: