FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (KMOX) – Is the Army getting ahead of the problem of suicides in the military?
The Army’s top non-commissioned officer, Sgt. Major Raymond F. Chandler III spent time at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri last week talking to soldiers and their families.
“I’m not gonna say we are ahead of the problem until we don’t have any more suicides,” Chandler said during a town hall meeting with hundreds of servicemen and women.
“Suicide is a complex enemy for the army, a strong term some may question but it is an enemy, we are losing soldiers at the rate of two soldiers for every soldiers we lose in combat.”
He says the Army must continue to learn more about suicide and then adjust programs, polices, and training. “So we have an environment so people feel that ending their life is not the answer.”
Chandler also encouraged soldiers who want to stay in the military during the draw down to focus more on continuing education saying when he enlisted in 1981, more than 50 percent of the Army’s non-commissioned officers had no high school.
The Sgt Major says 15-thousand will have to be cut from the current force every year for the next five years. He says those who want to stay in should ask themselves ‘Are you willing to do what the Army wants you to?