Marine Corps Suicide Case Study

989 Words4 Pages
The Marine Corps has a suicide problem. And while the institution seeks a solution, the symptoms of suicide continue to evolve and become more complex with each passing year. The highest level of Marine Corps leadership made mitigating suicide a priority issue, but those efforts have not translated into actionable intelligence amongst the ranks. The Marine Corps needs to develop a well-rounded policy and action plan which incorporates policy, health care competence, and peer-involvement to reduce suicide amongst the ranks. To develop a well-rounded policy and action plan, the Marine Corps should first review the hiring of health care physicians. Simply hiring more behavioral health care physicians to treat Marines is not the answer. Behavioral health physicians with personal backgrounds in combat operations should be implemented as a knowledge requirement. While the pool of available physicians with combat experience will reduce the applicant pool, the competence and level of understanding the provider brings to the table is immeasurable.…show more content…
From the Commandant and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps down to lower echelons, the same message is consistently delivered, help is available. However, there are things that should be happening that are not. The most apparent is buy-in from mid-level leadership. Mid-level leaders face daunting tasks to meet increasing operational tempos with little dwell time and scarce resources. Taking one Marine out of the process impacts the overall combat readiness when time cannot be centrally focused on essential tasks. Another reason why things aren’t happening is that leaders simply believe the notion suicide is for the weak! If Marines cannot handle the stresses of combat and life then why should leaders devote their time to them when other mission essential tasks are at hand with more capable Marines who can handle the stressors? This notion is only amplified by the force structure draw down. The focus of effort is the top level Marine who wants to reenlist, not the Marine who needs…show more content…
And while the institution seeks a solution, improving the current form of educating and involving other Marines are tools to help reduce the complexity of suicide. The highest levels of Marine Corps leadership made suicide a priority issue, but they need the full force of the institution to fight the battle. If suicide is not translated amongst the ranks into actionable intelligence, the battle will be lost. In order to win the battle against suicide, the Marine Corps needs to develop a well-rounded policy and action plan which incorporates policy, health care, and peer-involvement to reduce suicides amongst the
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