US Army Suicides Rise

US army suicides hit 26-year high

At least 99 American soldiers killed themselves last year, the US army’s highest suicide rate in 26 years, according to a new report.

The rate of 17.3 suicides per 100,000 soldiers compares with 12.8 in 2005, officials said.

Twenty-eight of the soldiers who took their own life last year did so while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.

It’s always bad news to hear people dying.

Is it bad enough, or should it reach Vietnam proportions to get people to pay attention?

Well, it’s a BS war, but for G.I.Joe it’s a war nontheless. The last conflicts were a piece of cake compared to that. It’s only a normal part of a violent lifestyle.

Bad news for lixy,

In 2006 the branches of the United States military reached or exceeded their recruiting goal.

JeffR

It’s not the data, it’s how you present it…

Here’s the headline:

[b]Suicides up among U.S. soldiers[/b]

Got that? Got the proper train of thought going? Oh my god, our poor boys are killing theirownselfs! Dammit, Mr. Cheney, you bring them home right now!

If you get riled up enough, you might not even read to the last 'graph…

In 2006, the overall suicide rate for the United States was 13.4 per 100,000 people. It was 21.1 per 100,000 people for all men aged 17 to 45, compared to a rate of 17.8 for men in the Army.

Y’know, I don’t mind being jerked around a little bit, Mr. Reporter, but if you want your (propaganda) headline to work better, you really shouldn’t include the raw numbers. It makes me feel like you think I’m dumb.

Regardless of your feelings on the issue, folks, you should feel a little insulted.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:

Regardless of your feelings on the issue, folks, you should feel a little insulted.[/quote]

I feel a little insulted every time lixy posts. Then I feel dumber after reading her posts. Then I feel cheated of the time it took to read her drivel.

According to CNN, talking about statistics, the rate per 100,000 has jumped over the last two years.

Apparently the DoD is taking the matter seriously, even if nobody here is, at least based on the statements that they have released concerning the jump in figures.

However, all that said, this issue has nothing to do with the price of tea in china.

[quote]vroom wrote:
However, all that said, this issue has nothing to do with the price of tea in china.[/quote]

I think I’m gonna collect these and put out a book about vroomisms.

[quote]JeffR wrote:
Bad news for lixy,

In 2006 the branches of the United States military reached or exceeded their recruiting goal.

[/quote]

I see. So, the strategy is to keep a fresh supply.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
Regardless of your feelings on the issue, folks, you should feel a little insulted.

I feel a little insulted every time lixy posts. Then I feel dumber after reading her posts. Then I feel cheated of the time it took to read her drivel. [/quote]

RJ, is there any way I could have phrased my post to not get you feel insulted and so that we could have an intelligent debate?

Seriously, I’m asking cause I REALLY did my best to get it as neutral as possible. Please point me in the right direction. I had no intention of insulting you or anyone else.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
It’s not the data, it’s how you present it…

Here’s the headline:

[b]Suicides up among U.S. soldiers[/b][/quote]

Yeah, I caught that too as you can see from the title of the thread.

This bit I don’t get. Did I make a mistake by correlating increase in suicide rates with the war?

[quote]vroom wrote:
According to CNN, talking about statistics, the rate per 100,000 has jumped over the last two years.

Apparently the DoD is taking the matter seriously, even if nobody here is, at least based on the statements that they have released concerning the jump in figures.

However, all that said, this issue has nothing to do with the price of tea in china.[/quote]

I should hope that the DOD would take any increase seriously and work toward bettering the lives of the troops. My only beef is misleading headlines and misguided attempts at extrapolation of Chinese tea prices…

[quote]rainjack wrote:
BostonBarrister wrote:

Regardless of your feelings on the issue, folks, you should feel a little insulted.

I feel a little insulted every time lixy posts. Then I feel dumber after reading her posts. Then I feel cheated of the time it took to read her drivel. [/quote]

I feel the same way with your posts. :slight_smile:

Your posts don’t insult me as much as your avatar though.

vomits in mouth

Dustin

[quote]JeffR wrote:
Bad news for lixy,

In 2006 the branches of the United States military reached or exceeded their recruiting goal.

JeffR[/quote]

The Army was able to reach their quota because they’ve lowered the overall number set as the recruiting goal. Plus, waving $10,000 and up in the faces of 18 year olds for signing up also helps too.

Dustin

[quote]
BostonBarrister wrote:

Got that? Got the proper train of thought going? Oh my god, our poor boys are killing theirownselfs! Dammit, Mr. Cheney, you bring them home right now!

lixy wrote:
This bit I don’t get. Did I make a mistake by correlating increase in suicide rates with the war?[/quote]

The point being that the suicide rate in the army, a heavily male body that predominantly falls in the age range of 18-45 or so, should be compared against the overall U.S. rate for that same demographic - and if you do so, the number seems to indicate that soldiers are less likely to commit suicide than civilians.

ADDENDUM:
To further spell it out, the change in the soldier’s rate looks like a move toward the average for the comparable population. This could be caused by a variety of factors, including recruiting – particularly if the balance of the soldiers was shifted towards the younger end of the demographic.

It’s also worth noting that 2001 was the all-time low, we went into Iraq in 2003, with the rate very similar, and the rate was basically stable until this jump in 2006. Another small fact to note – only 28% of the suicides were soldiers deployed in combat areas. And a final note is that the rate for all American men aged 17-45 was also increasing simultaneously, from 17.6 per 100,000 in 2001 to 21.1 per 100,000 in 2006 (per CNN).

NOTEABLE: The US Army has also lowered recruitment standards, i.e. mental health, stability requirements, criminal records, etc. High stress situations tend to weed out all non-hackers hence heightened suicide rates. NO LIXY soldiers aren’t killing themselves because they don’t believe in the war. The Army is also handing rank out left and right which is even scarier. I miss the old Army. Unfortuantely nowadays we just don’t have enough qualified people knocking down our door and don’t have the luxury of being very selective.

Folks are missing the glaring fact BB illustrated. Statistically speaking, as far as suicide goes, one would actually be encouraged to join the army. That’s the part that sort of got ignored. Because, even with an overall rise in numbers, the military is still trailing the overall statistic. Maybe Lixy was encouraging our young men and women to join.

[quote]Sloth wrote:
Folks are missing the glaring fact BB illustrated. Statistically speaking, as far as suicide goes, one would actually be encouraged to join the army. That’s the part that sort of got ignored. Because, even with an overall rise in numbers, the military is still trailing the overall statistic. Maybe Lixy was encouraging our young men and women to join.[/quote]

So far I’m most apt to go with T-MIA’s discussion of the issue. Clearly, a rising rate implies something, but as others have said, there are certainly a lot of possibilities to wade through.

Your post, on the other hand, is funny in a strange way, but it’s hard to tell if you meant it to be or not.

[quote]vroom wrote:
Sloth wrote:
Folks are missing the glaring fact BB illustrated. Statistically speaking, as far as suicide goes, one would actually be encouraged to join the army. That’s the part that sort of got ignored. Because, even with an overall rise in numbers, the military is still trailing the overall statistic. Maybe Lixy was encouraging our young men and women to join.

So far I’m most apt to go with T-MIA’s discussion of the issue. Clearly, a rising rate implies something, but as others have said, there are certainly a lot of possibilities to wade through.

Your post, on the other hand, is funny in a strange way, but it’s hard to tell if you meant it to be or not.[/quote]

Not sure what you mean. The point is that suicide rates appear to be up across the board. And since the military has to recruit from civilians I’m sure it spills over into their numbers.

However, the military statistic still trails the national statistic, from my quick read of the material anyways. So, if the intent was to single out the military statistic as a stealthy jab at certain military engagements, the numbers sort of cause such an effort to fall flat. Not sure if that clears up any confusion.

Edit. Ah, maybe my use of “Overall” is confusing. I mean to say that the comparable groups of civilians and servicemen (such as the age group range) BB pointed out. Didn’t catch what I wrote till now. Unfortunately, I’ve been busy as hell lately, so, I’m sort of machine gunning my posts out without much of a reread.

From the info provided all that can clearly be determined, with respect to suicide rates in the army is that.

[1] They are rising.

[2] They are still less than the national average for such per affected ages

And that’s it.

As the rates are still below the National average it logically follows that the army life - per affected ages - provides an environment under which suicidal tendencies, or the proliferation of conditions that foster said tendencies, are restricted/ influenced positively.

However, a rising rate of suicide in the army - per affected age groups - indicates that the preventative conditions in the army may have changed.

How would you assess this?

[1] Determine the situations, namely:

  • Is the suicide rate the same across all postings: Iraq/ Afghanistan/ Non-combat etc

[2] If the suicide rate is the same across all postings then you can’t causally, blame combat postings - unless you are able to prove that soldiers on non-combat postings are killing themselves ebcasue they are afraid of being posted to a combat zone.

[3] If the majority of the suicides are in Combat areas you need to assess suicide statistics from other combat campaigns Desert Storm/ Vietnam/ Korea / WW2 etc and determine the existance of statistically significant correlation. (You then need to compare said correlations against the civilian suicide rates of the period)

[4] You would also, when comparing Combat conditions etc need to include determinations as to conditions from the period and how they cross-correlate.


In essence, all you can really say, is that:

  • At this point in time
  • In these specific circumstances

X is happening - and that’s it.

Sloth, it’s funny, because your point leads me to imagine something like the following for recruitment commercials… as if it was a deciding factor:

Join the army, you’ll be less likely to kill yourself!

This of course both ignores and implies the obvious…