Saturday, January 21, 2017

Will Trump's Bigger Army Mean More Suicides?

Will Trump's Bigger Army Mean More Suicides?
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 21, 2017

I thought that reading Trump’s bigger Army could cost $12B by official’s math would be informative, however, it offered a lot more than math on the budget.
The Army hit a high of 566,000 active-duty troops in 2011 to sustain the American troop surge in Iraq along with the continuing war in Afghanistan. The number has steadily dropped since the U.S. pullout from Iraq in December 2011. The debate since then has been about the pace of a planned draw-down to 450,000 by the end of fiscal 2018. This year’s defense policy bill mandated that the Army not be reduced to fewer than 476,000.

When you read this about the numbers, consider the simple fact that when there are so many fewer serving, the actual outcomes of military suicides is even more frightening. This is from a report about 2015 Army suicides.
The Pentagon reported Friday that 265 active-duty service members killed themselves last year, continuing a trend of unusually high suicide rates that have plagued the U.S. military for at least seven years.

The actual percentage went up.
The number of suicides among troops was 145 in 2001 and began a steady increase until more than doubling to 321 in 2012, the worst year in recent history for servicemembers killing themselves.

The suicide rate for the Army that year was nearly 30 suicides per 100,000 soldiers, well above the national rate of 12.5 per 100,000 for 2012.

Military suicides dropped 20% the year after that, and then held roughly steady at numbers significantly higher than during the early 2000s. The 265 suicides last year compares with 273 in 2014 and 254 in 2013. By contrast, from 2001 through 2007, suicides never exceeded 197.
We don't know what the number was for 2016, because they have not released their data. We only know about the 1st and 2nd quarters.

In the first quarter of 2016, the military services reported the following:
 58 deaths by suicide in the Active Component
 18 deaths by suicide in the Reserves
 34 deaths by suicide in the National Guard
Please refer to Appendix A for a detailed breakdown of the number of deaths by suicide within each Service and Component.


And Army Suicides for the second quarter of 2016 In the second quarter of 2016, the military services reported the following:
 57 deaths by suicide in the Active Component
 23 deaths by suicide in the Reserves
 23 deaths by suicide in the National Guard
On veterans committing suicide, we need to look at a report from Idaho
Just between 2012 and 2014, there were more than 3,000 suicides in Washington, and 700 of them were past or current military.

In Washington, more than half of those veterans who committed suicide were over the age of 65, while in Idaho, it was a full 65 percent.

This is from Arizona

Men commit suicide more often (nearly 81 per 100,000) than women (25 per 100,000). Veterans outnumber non-veteran suicide rates 80 to 29 percent.