More soldiers in the U.S. military’s active-duty, National Guard, and reserve forces died from suicide in the second quarter of this year than soldiers in the entire U.S. military died from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, a new Pentagon report shows.
This shocking news reveals that active-duty suicide deaths in the 2nd quarter of 2021, versus the 2nd quarter of 2020, had an increase of 46%.
Titled “The Department of Defense (DOD) Quarterly Suicide Report (QSR),” the document reveals that from April 1 to June 30, a total of 139 troops took their lives, with 99 classified as “active component,” 14 as “reserve” members, and 26 as National Guard. Broken down among service branches, the active component deaths include 60 from the Army, eight from the Marine Corps, 17 from the Navy, and 14 from the Air Force.
The newly released numbers are more than double the total number of U.S. service members that have died from coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, with the Military Times reporting 67 COVID-related deaths in the U.S. military to date.
Following an August directive from the Biden administration, all members of the U.S. military are required to receive the COVID jab in order to continue service, with the deadline for vaccination varying among each branch.
“After careful consultation with medical experts and military leadership, and with the support of the President, I have determined that mandatory vaccination against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is necessary to protect the Force and defend the American people,” wrote Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in an August 25 memo. “To defend this Nation, we need a healthy and ready force.”
Only 65 % of U.S. military members, including all National Guard, Army Reserve and active-duty forces, have been fully vaccinated for the respiratory virus to date, according to Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby.
“I can tell you that active-duty personnel with at least one dose now stands at 96.7% and active-duty personnel that are fully vaccinated stands today at 83.7%,” he said at a recent press conference. “So, we continue to make progress on this and the total force, at least one dose [is] 80%. And fully vaccinated again across the total force is about 65%.”
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