Pentagon Suicide Report Shows A Pattern

( A Pentagon suicide report shows that the Army is experiencing a major battle, not only on the recruiting front, where they are experiencing the worst numbers since the Vietnam War, falling short 25% of their goal in 2022. Compared to other branches, the Army is reportedly falling significantly short and lagging behind when it comes to promoting the culture so many service leaders have been calling for.

Between 2020 and 2021, the Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force saw a decline in suicide rates, with rates in the Reserves and National Guard similar in 2020. But the military’s active-duty Army has actually seen an increase, as the branch reported 176 suicides in 2021, up from 174 in 2020. While overall suicide rates have reportedly trended upwards from 2010 to 2021, the Air Force has seen a significant drop from 82 to 51 between 2020 and 2021 alone.

“[The] Army is struggling in a couple of different areas that could play into the fact that they haven’t made any significant progress,” Cole Lyle, executive director of Mission Roll Call, told the DCNF. “They’re frankly falling short.”

The report found that most suicides occurred in those aged between 20 and 40 with personal firearms. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin claimed in a statement after the release of the report that the Pentagon was doing more improve the quality of life for soldiers.

“We also continue efforts to improve the quality of life for service members and their families, address stigma as a barrier to seeking help, and expand our safety efforts for our service members and their families,” Austin said. “While we have made progress in these areas, we must continue to do more.”

The Daily Caller reports that that “post-combat trauma” did not appear to be a significant reason for the suicide rates because most soldiers committing suicide had little to no downrange experience.

“One variable that ought to be questioned is the impact of the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan,” said Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, adding that the withdrawal could have had many questioning whether the sacrifices were worth it.

The suicide rates are also reportedly tied to the poor quality of life soldiers experience in moldy barracks and an increase of sexual assault, which has been aggravated by an increase in the cost of living. The Army has seen a 25.6% increase in sexual assault in 2021, with the Navy coming in second with a 9.2% increase, according to a Departmenf of Defense report.

“The Army seems to have lost its mission,” said Donnelly.

Army Sergeant Major Michael Grinston has said that the Army is taking measures to improve the quality of life for soldiers, including altering the branch’s basic training culture, like removing the screaming and activity that inflicts pain on soldiers.

But Veterans for America Deputy Director John Byrnes raised an interesting point when he said that the Army’s leadership is facing “cultural challenges to understanding where the problem really is,” Byrnes told Daily Caller. “Army is good at fighting our nation’s land wars; it’s hard to make them good at doing other things as well.”

“What’s more important, winning our nation’s land wars or solving for the suicide problem?” Byrnes asked.