Pentagon study reveals U.S. soldiers are 9 times more likely to die by suicide than in combat
06/26/2024 // Zoey Sky // Views

Military personnel often face significant risks in their line of work, but an alarming study conducted by the Department of Defense has revealed that soldiers of the United States Armed Forces are at least nine times more likely to die by suicide than in combat.

The Pentagon study was conducted over a five-year period ending in 2019 and was published in May by the Defense Health Agency. Researchers reported that suicide was the leading cause of death among active-duty soldiers from 2014 to 2019.

They found that there were 883 suicide deaths during that period. Data revealed that accidents were the number two cause with 814 deaths. There were only 96 combat deaths in that period.

The suicide figures from 2019 predate some Army and Pentagon initiatives to prevent suicide, such as a workforce that addresses harmful behaviors like alcohol abuse that can contribute to deaths by suicide. Additionally, combat deaths declined from 31 in 2014 to 16 in 2019 as deployments to war zones in the Middle East and Afghanistan decreased.

Data has revealed that suicide has increased among active-duty soldiers. So far in 2024, at least 55 soldiers have died by suicide.

In an interview, Army officials pointed to increasing rates of suicide in U.S. society as a whole that are reflected in their ranks. They also discussed some new tactics that they are enforcing to try and reduce suicide.

The rate of suicide is measured by deaths per 100,000 soldiers and it has been increasing since 2019 when the rate was 28.8 per 100,000.

For active-duty soldiers in 2020, the rate was 36.2 per 100,000. It went down in 2021 to 36.1, then it declined further in 2022 to 28.9. However, in 2023 it once again increased to 36.6. Data from January to May 2024 reveals that the current rate for the year is 31.8. (Related: The Dr. Ardis Show: Dr. James Greenblatt calls for HOLISTIC APPROACH in addressing mental health – Brighteon.TV.)

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For all Americans, the rate of suicide has gone up 37 percent since 2000. In 2021, the last year of available data, the rate per 100,000 was 14.1.

The Army's efforts to address suicide were particularly urgent in Alaska. At Fort Wainwright in Alaska's remote and frigid interior, 11 soldiers died by suicide between January 2014 and March 2019. The significant spike alarmed Army officials.

Because of the suicide spike at Fort Wainwright, a commission investigating the issue called for spending more than $200 million for better barracks for soldiers and sheltered garages to maintain their combat vehicles.

Military spending not enough to help prevent suicides

But the additional funding didn't stem the problem. There were eight suicide deaths among soldiers posted to Alaska in 2019, with seven recorded in 2020 and 17 in 2021.

Following a USA Today investigation, the Army, with urging from Congress, sent mental health professionals to the state and suicides dropped to six in 2022.

In September 2023, acting on recommendations made by an independent commission studying suicide in the military, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin discussed the Pentagon's strategy to prevent more deaths.

The strategy includes improving access to mental health counseling and incentives for safe storage of firearms, which account for an alarming 70 percent of suicide deaths.

The Pentagon will hire as many as 2,000 people over the next four years to focus on preventing problem behaviors, like excessive drinking, that can result in suicide and sexual assault. The first members of the Integrated Primary Prevention Workforce were deployed to bases at the highest risk in 2023.

The study also found that gunshot wounds accounted for 65 percent of the Army's suicide deaths. The study authors advised that the timely evaluation of different "public health suicide prevention programs and services, and a greater emphasis on firearm storage and safety, may be needed to reduce suicide."

Visit to read more stories about mental health.

Watch the video below to find out if lithium and vitamin D are the "missing keys to mental health."

This video is from the High Hopes channel on

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