Military suicides continue to increase, and Pentagon officials are noticing an alarming rise among special operations personnel. Defense Department data shows 17 confirmed or suspected suicides this year among elite commandos. At least two were at Fort Campbell.
A report from USA Today quotes some of the top brass from the U.S. Special Operations Command saying the mental health problems are worse than they thought.
Fort Campbell is home to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment as well as the 5th Special Forces Group. According to reports released to WPLN in a Freedom of Information Act request, two 5th Group deaths have been confirmed as suicides this year. One soldier shot himself with a pistol in the parking lot of Fort Campbell’s hospital. The other killed his wife and then took his own life.
A report issued last month by the Special Operations Command cites an increase in domestic disputes and risk taking behavior. All 66,000 troops – from Delta Force to SEAL Team 6 – have now been guaranteed 250 days of downtime over the next two years.