Suicide Prevention: It's All About Leadership
Strategy research project
ARMY WAR COLLEGE CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
Pagination or Media Count:
Over the last decade the U.S. Department of Defense DoD has witnessed a dramatic increase in service members deaths by suicide. The cause of this increase is the center of much debate within the U.S. Army and the Department of Defense. Underlining the increase in death by suicide is the stress twelve years of constant combat in Iraq and Afghanistan has, and continues to cause service men and women. This paper will examine the causes of suicide as interpreted by the U.S. Army and the preventive measures the U.S. Army is taking to address suicide within its ranks. It will then discuss the theory of suicide from a social-psychological prospective followed by a discussion of how the U.S. Armys Force Generation ARFORGEN model and a lack of professional military education in the noncommissioned officer ranks have led to the inadequacies of U.S. Armys small unit leadership in dealing with suicide prevention. The paper will conclude with a recommendation for how the U.S. Army can correct small unit leadership deficiencies, thus better preparing first line leaders on combating suicide.