The Pentagon reported Friday that 265 active-duty service members killed themselves last year, continuing a trend of unusually high suicide rates that have plagued the U.S. military for at least seven years.
The numbers of suicides among troops was 145 in 2001 and began a steady increase until more than doubling to 321 in 2012, the worst year in recent history for service members killing themselves.
The suicide rate for the Army that year was nearly 30 suicides per 100,000 soldiers, well above the national rate of 12.5 per 100,000 for 2012.
Military suicides dropped 20% the year after that, and then held roughly steady at numbers significantly higher than during the early 2000s. The 265 suicides last year compares with 273 in 2014 and 254 in 2013. By contrast, from 2001 through 2007, suicides never exceeded 197.
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Image courtesy of U.S. Air Force photo illustration/Steven White