US military suicides exceed battle deaths in Afghanistan in 2012

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 The suicide rate in the US military rose again last year, with 349 personnel taking their own lives in 2012.
The figure was published by the military newspaper Stars and Stripes, the Associated Press reported on Monday.

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.

In May 2012, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called suicide “one of the most complex and urgent problems” the Pentagon is dealing with.

“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.

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