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Army responds to rising suicides
Stand-down events slated for September, October
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After stabilizing for three years, suicide rates in the Army are on the rise.
According to a recent USA Today interview with Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff said suicides now are the most common form of death in the Army. Reportedly, Odierno was responding to questions about 38 suicides or suspected suicides during July.
When asked to confirm this number, Hank Minitrez, Army G-1, said his office does not publish monthly reports.
“We don’t publish partial-year suicide rates until final determination of pending suicides is resolved, so (calendar year) 2012 rates are not available at this time,” he said. “We are undertaking a major effort to re-look at the (Department of Defense) level concerning how rates are computed and reported so there is consistency among reporting agencies and across all services.”
Minitrez said his office could only offer data comparing 2011’s with CY 2010. Last year, the suicide rate among active-duty soldiers was 23.1 per 100,000 soldiers. In 2010, the rate was 22.2 per 100,000 soldiers. The USA Today article suggested a rate of 29 per 100,000 in 2012.

Read more in the Sept. 1 edition of the News.

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