The suicide rate for U.S. soldiers is higher than the average civilian rate for the first time since the Pentagon began tracking suicides nearly 30 years ago.
Adding to the solemn string of record-breaking statistics, new figures show that the suicide rate among U.S. Army members has hit its highest level in three decades. Last year, over 128 soldiers took their own lives, a telling sign of our military and political climate.
The suicide rate among Army soldiers reached its highest level in three decades in 2008, military officials said Thursday in a report that pointed to the inadequacy of anti-suicide efforts undertaken in recent years.
At least 128 Army soldiers took their own lives last year—an estimated suicide rate of 20.2 per 100,000, a sharp increase from the 2007 rate of 16.8.
It marked the first time the Army rate has exceeded the national suicide rate for the corresponding population group—19.5 per 100,000—since the Pentagon began systematically tracking suicides nearly 30 years ago.
The 2008 figure does not include 15 additional deaths under investigation that officials suspect were suicides.