G-1, Human Resources Policy Directorate
Supporting Soldiers, Families & Civilians – Active, Guard, Reserve and Retired
3 September 2008
A lot of attention is given to the enlisted Soldier. Is equal attention given to the morale and welfare of junior officers? Why or why not? (For discussion).
With all this attention on suicide prevention, what prevents Soldiers from exploiting “the S word” to their advantage in order to shirk duties or obligations? (The threat of suicide is one of a Soldier’s best tools for “manipulating the system.” For the less adapted Soldiers, there is nothing to stop such exploitation of medical services. If diagnosed as malingering, the SM could be subjected to a rather stiff penalty. However, malingering is difficult to diagnose. With Soldiers who fail to respond to any other motivation, UCMJ action is probably the best courses of action, with the understanding that such action might cause the SM to make some sort of gesture during which they might accidentally harm themselves. For better adapted Soldiers, unit cohesion, individual and group values, and recognition of the consequences of their behaviors will serve to avoid misuse of behavioral health resources).
Where do you think behavioral health assets should be positioned? (there may be a variety of responses; however, generally speaking, such assets should be deployed as close to the action as possible, not back in an office in the rear).
Since many suicides occur off-post, how do you, as a Commander, monitor suicide risk factors among Soldiers who do not reside in the barracks? (for discussion).
Given the current OPTEMPS, what resources do you realistically have at your disposal to monitor the psychological status of your unit in order to prevent suicide? (a well-trained, sensitive NCO Corps and junior officers, behavioral health assets, combat stress control; chaplains, Command climate surveys; Battlemind surveys; Behavioral Needs Assessment Survey).
Scenario #6 – Deployed Captain
STRATEGIC QUESTIONS and ANSWERS: