More military service members committed suicide July-Sept 2021 than have ever died from coronavirus

UniqueThis 46 Tue at 1:33 PM

Over 100 members of the U.S. military took their own lives in the third quarter of 2021 which represents a greater total than the number of service members who have died from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. 

According to data released by the Pentagon, 126 service members committed suicide in Q3 of 2021 which broke down into 70 active service members, 19 reserve members, and 37 members of the National Guard.

The Pentagon is seen behind the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, on Oct. 9, 2020.

The Pentagon is seen behind the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, on Oct. 9, 2020. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo)

Suicides among active members of the military dropped from Q2 to Q3, but suicides rose among reserve and National Guard members.

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As of January 8, 86 members of the military have died from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

President Joe Biden receives a COVID-19 booster shot during an event on the White House campus, Sept. 27, 2021. 

President Joe Biden receives a COVID-19 booster shot during an event on the White House campus, Sept. 27, 2021.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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In September, the total number of coronavirus deaths in the military was 43 and the doubling of deaths from September to January is partially due to the Delta variant spike, the Pentagon says.

A total of 383 members of the U.S. military committed suicide in 2021 through three quarters. In 2020, Pentagon data shows that 581 service members committed suicide.

In December, the military began taking disciplinary action against U.S. service members who had not complied with the federal government's vaccine mandate. More than 200 Marines have been booted from the United States military for refusing the vaccine.

This summer, a research paper concluded that a staggering 30,177 American active military personnel and veterans involved in post-9/11 wars are estimated to have died by suicide – a figure at least four times greater than the 7,057 service members who were killed in combat during that time.

Marines in formation.

Marines in formation. (iStock)

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The statistics emerged this summer in a report from the Cost of War Project – a joint research effort between Brown University and Boston University. 

"Unless the U.S. government and U.S. society makes significant changes in the ways we manage the mental health crisis among our service members and veterans, suicide rates will continue to climb," the paper warns. "That is a cost of war we cannot accept."

Correction: A previous version of this story included the wrong number of suicides among service members during the third quarter of 2021.


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