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Financial Instability: Suicide's Weapon of Choice
ARMY WAR COLLEGE CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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In 2012, Army suicide rates increased 22 to 29 per 100,000 thus claiming the lives of 325 Soldiers at a rate close to one a day. Despite suicide reaching record levels, the Army can reverse increasing trends by studying the indirect causal relationship between financial instability and suicide and introducing measures to avoid the cascading effects of personal indebtedness. Historically, evidence depicts a positive correlation between a struggling economy and increasing suicide rates. Analyzing the financial readiness of today s Soldiers reveals problematic trends and early warnings for a continuous increase in suicides. Considering the impact of sequestration and the post war reduction of forces, leaders must recognize that building financial resiliency within the force is essential in preventing further rises in suicide. Applying joint planning doctrine facilitates developing an operational approach as an alternative strategy for reversing suicide trends. Establishing a financial readiness line of effort LOE, with supporting objectives for achieving financial resiliency ensures Soldiers are fully prepared to encounter financial difficulties which precipitate failed relationships and suicide.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE