As many as 32 soldiers killed themselves in July, the Army reported Friday, a figure that, if confirmed, would be the highest total since the Army began releasing the figures in 2009. The Army suffered 31 suicides in June 2010.
Among active-duty troops, three of 22 cases have been confirmed as suicides. Of 10 potential suicide cases among reserve troops, all remain under investigation, the Army said.
“Every suicide represents a tragic loss to our Army and the nation,” Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, vice chief of staff of the Army, said in a written statement. “While the high number of potential suicides in July is discouraging, we are confident our efforts aimed at increasing individuals’ resiliency, while reducing incidence of at-risk and high-risk behavior across the force, are having a positive impact.
“We absolutely recognize there is much work to be done and remain committed to ensuring our people are cared for and have ready access to the best possible programs and services.”
July’s figure was a significant jump from the 14 reported suicides in June.
Since the start of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, more than 1,100 soldiers have taken their own lives, with the numbers escalating each year for the last six years. Last year alone, 301 soldiers committed suicide — a new record.