Monday, January 14, 2013
More active-duty U.S. service members died from suicide than combat in 2012, according to statistics compiled by the Associated Press.
The A.P. reports that 349 service members took their own lives last year. In comparison, 295 U.S. troops died in combat in 2012.
According to the A.P.:
The Army had the highest number of suicides among active-duty troops last year at 182, but the Marine Corps had the largest percentage increase — up 50 percent to 48. The Air Force recorded 59 suicides and the Navy had 60.
As Home Post reported last week, a provision in the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act gives commanders, health care professionals, and chaplains the authority to question service members about firearm possession - when they believe the troops may harm themselves with guns they have at home.
Army generals Dennis J. Reimer and Peter W. Chiarelli explained why in a December Washington Post editorial:
More than two-thirds of [military] suicides involved firearms, and nearly three-quarters of those cases involved personal weapons, not military weapons.
Military suicides in 2012 jumped from 2011, when 301 service members took their own lives.