The new entrance sign at Fort Cavazos, Texas.

The new entrance sign at Fort Cavazos, Texas. (Christian Nevitt/U.S. Army)

Three soldiers at Fort Cavazos in Texas have died by suicide in recent weeks, a death toll that has prompted leaders to reeducate service members about suicide prevention services.

The Army post, formerly known as Fort Hood, did not release details about the deaths but said “all initial indicators point to these tragedies being suicides,” according to Lt. Col. Tania Donovan, the public affairs director for III Armored Corps.

“The 1st Cavalry Division’s leaders and troopers are deeply saddened by the recent loss of three of their teammates,” she said. “We are cooperating fully with the authorities in their investigation of these deaths, which are still ongoing.”

Fort Cavazos houses about 40,000 soldiers and is home to III Corps and the 1st Cavalry Division, among others.

The 1st Calvary Division conducted a “Call-to-Action” day on Aug. 16 in response to the suicides, Donovan said. The event gave soldiers and leaders time to discuss mental health, suicide prevention, warning signs and intervention protocols.

Fort Cavazos and III Corps are also familiarizing soldiers, civilians and their families with resources that they could turn to in times of high stress, she said. Those resources include 24/7 helplines, counselors, chaplains, behavioral health care and services provided by the Army’s substance abuse program and others.

“These efforts are critical as we continue working toward necessary change,” Donovan said. “No one should have to experience mental health challenges alone. Talking with someone is always an option and reaching out for support is not a sign of weakness – it is a sign of courage and strength.”

The military has grappled with service member suicides for years. The number of suicides among active-duty troops rose from 75 in the first quarter of 2022 to 94 in the first quarter of 2023, according to the most recent data from the Defense Department’s Suicide Prevention Office.

The Army, the largest military service, is most affected. Almost 50 service members died by suicide in the first three months of 2023 compared to 37 service members in the first three months of 2022, according to the office.

Fort Cavazos, America’s largest active-duty armored military post, has been plagued by suicides, allegations of sexual harassment and other scandals. It came to prominent national attention after the 2020 killing of Vanessa Guillén, a 20-year-old soldier who was bludgeoned to death by another soldier inside an armory at the base.

The League of United Latin American Citizens, a Hispanic and Latin-American civil rights organization, and the Brandon Caserta Foundation, an organization that aims to end military and veteran suicides, issued a joint statement Friday calling for comprehensive suicide intervention and support.

“[We are] committed to working shoulder-to-shoulder with the U.S. Army to ensure we prevent these deaths,” said Roman Palomares, chairman of the league’s military and veterans affairs committee. “We will not stop until all suicides among active or veteran service members are ended.”

Service members, veterans and family members who need help can call the Military Crisis Line/Veterans Crisis Line at 988, chat at or text to 838255.

Reporter Doug Ware contributed to this report.

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Svetlana Shkolnikova covers Congress for Stars and Stripes. She previously worked with the House Foreign Affairs Committee as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow and spent four years as a general assignment reporter for The Record newspaper in New Jersey and the USA Today Network. A native of Belarus, she has also reported from Moscow, Russia.

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