- Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 July 2014 07:10
July 2014 - The Department of Defense (DoD) Quarterly Suicide Report (QSR) summarizes suicide counts and annual rates for the Active Component, Reserves, and National Guard. The purpose of the QSR is to communicate DoD suicide data to stakeholders external to DoD on a routine and frequent basis. The 2013 4 th Quarter DoD QSR shows calendar year 2013 quarterly suicide counts, annual suicide counts, and annual suicide rates for each of the Services. DoD considers one loss to suicide as one too many, and will continue to do everything possible to prevent suicide in our military.
Summary of Results
The 2013 suicide rate for Active Component Service members was 18.7 suicides per 100,000 Service members. For the Reserves, the rate was 23.4 per 100,000 Service members. For the National Guard, the rate was 28.9 per 100,000 Service members.
Quarterly/annual suicide counts and annual rates are available in Table 1.
Data Sources and Collection Process
Suicide mortality data in this report are provided by the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System (AMFES) with inputs from the Service suicide prevention programs. Population data are collected from the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC).
AFMES tracks suicide data for the Active Component and that portion of the Reserves and National Guard on Active Duty status (i.e., Activated Service members on Title 10 orders). For all other Service members whom AFMES does not track, suicide data originates from civilian authorities and is made available through the Services.
DMDC is the DoD’s human resource information source and serves as the authoritative source of information on the DoD population.
Suicide counts are broken down by component and Service. The Active Component represents “that portion of the armed forces as identified in annual authorization acts as ‘active forces,’ and in section 115 of Title 10 USC as those Active Duty personnel paid from funds appropriated for Active Duty personnel” (DoD Instruction (DoDI) 1215.06, “Uniform Reserve, Training, and Retirement Categories for the Reserve Components”). The Active Component counts and rates provided in this report also include the Cadets and Midshipmen at the military academies. Counts are also provided for the Reserves and National Guard. These Reserve and National Guard Service members “consist of those units and individuals in the Ready Reserve designated by their respective Service, and approved by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as so essential to initial wartime missions that they have priority over all other Reserves” (DoDI 1215.06). The counts and rates provided here include Reserve and National Guard suicides regardless of the Service member’s duty status at the time of death.
Since Service member populations on the Temporary or Permanent Disability Retired Lists (TDRL, PDRL) may overlap with Department of Veterans Affairs data, they are excluded from suicide counts in this report. In addition, retirees are not captured in the data.
Suicide rates are presented as annual rates per 100,000 Service members. When the number of suicides for a particular population is below 20, a rate is not presented because rates based on such small numbers of events are statistically unreliable.
For each annual rate, the denominator is the average of the 12 monthly end-strengths for that segment of the population. This averaging approach accounts for the changing size of the Service member populations throughout the course of the calendar year.
Additionally, the denominators exclude TDRL and PDRL Service members.
The rates are not adjusted for any demographic factors of the populations (e.g., age or gender distributions). As a result, comparisons between the rates of the populations presented here, comparisons with the rates of other populations, or comparisons with rates across time may be misleading.