In it's monthly press statement, the United States Army announced that suicides among active duty soldiers doubled from June to July.
Last month, 26 members of the Army killed themselves -- up from 12 suicides in June.
Lt. Col. Lisa Garcia, an Army spokeswoman, said the July total was the highest for any month since the Army began reporting suicides each month in 2009.
- The Marine Corps had eight suicides in July, up from six in June.
- The Air Force said it had six in July, compared with two in June.
- The Navy had four in July but its June figure was not immediately available, according to the Associated Press.
"Suicide is the toughest enemy I have faced in my 37 years in the Army," said Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, the Army's vice chief of staff, who is looking in to ways to halt the surge in suicides.
Austin believes that suicide is preventable and suggests that "to combat it effectively will require sophisticated solutions aimed at helping individuals to build resiliency and strengthen their life coping skills."
Suicidal behavior in the military is thought to be related to cumulative stress from combat duty, but is also linked to a range of other pressures such as marital and financial problems, as well as health issues.
The Army's suicide numbers are higher than the other branches because it is substantially larger than the Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force. The Army also has had more members in combat over the past decade.