MILITARY

Military sees frustrating trend as suicides spike

Sep 26, 2019, 5:38 PM
File- This Sept. 7, 2019, file photo shows U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper delivering a speech du...
File- This Sept. 7, 2019, file photo shows U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper delivering a speech during a press conference with French Defense Minister Florence Parly in Paris. Military suicides surged this year to a record high among active duty troops, continuing a frustrating trend that Pentagon officials say they are struggling to counter. Asked about the deaths in the crew of the USS George W. Bush, Esper said, “I wish I could tell you we have an answer to prevent further, future suicides in the Armed Services. We don't. We are caught up in what some call a national epidemic of suicide among our youth.” (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)
(AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Military suicides surged this year to a record high among active-duty troops, continuing a frustrating trend that Pentagon officials say they are struggling to counter.

The Army, Navy and Marine Corps all saw the rate of suicides go up as well as the overall numbers, with only the Air Force showing a decrease, according to data released by the Pentagon Thursday. Suicides among members of the Reserves and the National Guard also grew.

The number of suicides across the military increased from 511 in 2017 to 541 in 2018. The Pentagon says the most suicides were young enlisted men, and they usually used a gun. Army suicides went from 114 to 139, while the Marines went from 43 to 58 and the Navy went from 65 to 68.

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Military sees frustrating trend as suicides spike