Active-duty US troop suicide rates surge by a whopping 25%, reveals recent study.
The crisis of military suicides in America continues unabated, as indicated by a recent Pentagon report. In the first quarter of this year, active-duty US soldiers took their own lives at a rate exceeding one per day, marking a troubling 25% increase compared to the pace seen in 2022.
According to the latest report from the US Department of Defense (DOD), the number of active-duty suicides rose from 75 in the same quarter of the previous year to 94 in the January-March period. This figure represents the highest count for any three-month period since the second quarter of 2021, when there were 97 military suicides.
The Defense Suicide Prevention Office of the Pentagon emphasized its unwavering dedication to addressing this issue, stating that the DOD is fully committed to preventing suicides within the military community. The report emphasized the tragic nature of every suicide, highlighting the profound loss experienced.
The prevalence of military suicides has experienced a sharp escalation over the past two decades, coinciding with America’s involvement in the “war on terror” following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in September 2001. The suicide rate among troops stood at nearly 29 per 100,000 in 2020, a substantial increase from the rate of 17.5 recorded a decade earlier.
The statistics for active-duty personnel do not encompass reservists or veterans, but government data reveals that an average of nearly 17 former US troops take their own lives each day. In the latest quarter, there were 41 suicides among reservists, maintaining the same level as the previous year.
Regarding active-duty troops, the number of suicides among US Army personnel surged by 32% in the January-March quarter compared to the same period the previous year, reaching a total of 49. The Marine Corps witnessed an even more substantial increase, with suicides rising by 75% to 14.
Despite efforts by the Pentagon to reverse this disheartening trend, they have thus far been unsuccessful. In February, a DOD advisory panel recommended various measures, including prohibiting soldiers under the age of 25 from purchasing firearms and implementing a seven-day waiting period for ammunition sales.
The number of active-duty suicides has exceeded 300 each year for the past five years, and based on the first-quarter figures, the military is on track to approach 400 such deaths in 2023.