May of 2011 was the worst month in a year for suicides and potential suicides in the active duty Army, the Pentagon announced Thursday.
The Army reported 21 potential suicides among active duty soldiers in May. One of them has been confirmed, the other 20 are under investigation. In the past, most of the cases investigated were later confirmed to be suicides.
May's number was the highest for one month since June, 2010 which at the time was the worst month in recent memory for Army suicides.
There were also 21 potential suicides among active duty soldiers in June 2010, but that month also saw 11 potential suicides among the guard and reserves. Last month, there were six potential suicides in the National Guard and reserves, so last June remains the worst month.
The latest data continue to show that suicide statistics in the Army frequently go up and down. April saw 16 potential suicides, more than twice the number in March, when only seven cases were investigated.
The Army says it's tough to know why suicides cases increase even as the entire Pentagon is trying to solve the problem. But spokesman Lt. Col. Steve Warren said "a spike in cases does not necessarily mean a trend."