14 Oct. 2021 21:31 Uhr
In the second quarter of this year alone, more members of the U.S. military died from suicide than from COVID-19 since the pandemic began. This follows from a disturbing new report from the Pentagon.
Between the beginning of April and the end of June 2021, there were a total of 139 suicides among US military personnel. Of those affected, 99 were in active service in all branches of the armed forces except the National Guard, 14 were reservists and 26 served in the National Guard, according to the latest report by the Office for the Prevention of Suicide in the Defense Forces (DSPO).
For the year 2021, the statistics published in the report show an increase in the suicide rate among active forces in the US Army by as much as 46 percent compared to the period in 2020. The statistics also show that the number of suicides in the US military in the above Calendar quarter more than twice as high is like the official number of COVID-19-related deaths in the armed forces, which the Pentagon has put at 58 so far.
The U.S. Department of Defense’s full-year 2020 report on suicides in the armed forces, published in late September, shows 580 such deaths this year – revised to 581 in the last quarter – 15 or 16 more than the 505 in the previous year.
While the suicide rate among the reservists and the National Guard has “remained the same in statistical terms” since 2016, there has been a significant increase among active soldiers in the rest of the US armed forces, said Dr. Karin Orvis, who has headed the DSPO since 2019. In 2020, the suicide rate among soldiers and officers on active duty was 28.7 per 100,000 men. This is the highest value since detailed records began in 2008, for which a rate of 16.9 per 100,000 men was calculated.
Soldiers under the age of 30 are most at risk of suicide, who made up 42 percent of the total US military in 2020 but committed 63 percent of all suicides that year, Orvis said. The army’s suicide rate was 36.4 per 100,000, almost twice as high as that of the navy (19.3).
The numbers for the second quarter of 2021 are from the time before the US withdrawal from Afghanistan in August. Thus, all suicides in connection with the air evacuation from Kabul and the end of the 20-year US military operation in this country will be recorded in the next quarterly report, it said.
more on the subject – Study: Since September 11, 2001, four times more US soldiers have died by suicide than in the war