DOD Releases Suicide Numbers

There were 522 suicide deaths among service members in 2012, according to the newly released DoD Suicide Event Report. Of those, 319 suicides were among Active Duty service members and 203 were in the reserve components. Fifty-seven airmen took their own lives. Preliminary data for 2013 suggests the suicide rate declined over the previous year, with a reported 261 Active Duty and 213 reserve component deaths. The report, which was released April 25, is the first time DOD captured suicide data for those in the traditional reserves, according to a Pentagon release. The Pentagon now plans to “issue suicide data results quarterly for all service components,” according to a separate release. “With an 18 percent drop in 2013, something is going right,” said Army Lt. Gen. Michael Linnington, military deputy at the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. “One suicide is always too many, but we have to focus our efforts now where we think they are most needed.” (DOD Suicide Event report; caution, large-sized file.)