US Department of Defence (DOD) spokeswoman Cynthia Smith confirmed the report. The number of US military suicides exceeded the number of battle deaths in Afghanistan in 2012.
“Leaders throughout the chain of command must actively promote a constructive command climate that fosters cohesion and encourages individuals to reach out for help when needed,” Panetta stated.
According to the DOD Suicide Event, there has been a jump in the number of suicides in the US military in recent years, with 295 in 2010 and 301 in 2011. The report has been published every year since 2008.