Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have daily body figures as to how many members of the military were killed or wounded in action, but there is another count of thousands who manifest the wounds of serving in combat. Between 2001– 2008, seventeen Army recruiters committed suicide while attempting to fulfill their responsibilities in getting more civilians to join the armed forces. Most of the seventeen had served in combat positions which suggests they had the mental toughness to confront combat, but something created even more stress while they worked as recruiters. Army Secretary Pete Geren ordered an investigation of the suicides and has now decided to close down all recruiting efforts on February 13 in order to discuss with recruiters their mental health and review procedures.
General Del Turner studied the situation over the past few months and concluded there “are some things that are disturbing” including a poor command structure and low morale due to demands for ever increasing higher rates of success. He also found examples of recruiters being pressured by their superiors to lie about conditions.
Ironically, the economic collapse has solved the problem since now recruiters have too many applicants to serve.