Army Secretary John McHugh
THE PENTAGON - Following another devastating report on the increase in the number of soldiers committing suicide, the Army is scrambling to solve the continuing crisis.
Secretary of the Army John McHugh held a press conference at the Pentagon to address the Army's concerns.
"This year, we've lost more soldiers to suicide than combat. I'm here to tell everyone that the Army is doing everything in its power to raise suicide awareness," he said. "We've come to realize that our previous campaign of forcing troops to sit in a briefing room for days at a time to view over 2,000 PowerPoint slides just wasn't effective."
He continued, "Our new initiative is to make suicide something so negative, that no troops will want to do it. I'm proud to announce the Army's new suicide prevention campaign which we call 'Suicide is for Pussies.'"
Lieutenant Colonel Harold Cochran, an architect of the Army's new suicide prevention program, spoke with Duffel Blog reporters via telephone. "The facts are that PowerPoint briefings aren't working. Every month the suicide rate continues to rise, and we continue to shove more PowerPoint slides down their throats to help them help themselves. We stressed the ACE system, that is: ask if something is wrong, care for your buddy, and escort your buddy to the commander. Soldiers just didn't respond well to this."
LTC Cochran explained, "We found it quite common that when a soldier would ask if his fellow soldier was contemplating suicide, the most common answers were 'Fuck off' and 'Yeah I know, down the river not across the tracks.' Instead of ACE, we are now training our soldiers to belittle other soldiers who may seem depressed, mainly by reminding them that suicide is for pussies, and whatever they're going through can't really be that bad."
"I really think it's going to save a lot of lives," he added confidently.
Master Sergeant Tyler Hancock, a Master Resiliency Trainer for the 18th Infantry Regiment, gave his thoughts on the new suicide prevention program.
"It's great. Now instead of having to act like we care about soldiers mental health issues, we can just go back to what we used to do in the 70's, and that was to instill such a negative stigma towards suicide, that only the really big pussies would do it."
Some professional psychiatric organizations have criticized the Army's move. Among these are the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, which released a statement condemning the new campaign.
"We are shocked and appalled that the Army thinks that this type of ideology will be effective. Everyone knows that the reason the Army is losing so many troops to suicide has nothing to do with how troops view suicide, the lack of mental health professionals and access to mental health care providers, or a systematic failure of the command of the Army to understand mental health issues on the most basic levels. It's obvious that the Army simply wasn't using PowerPoint enough and they should return immediately to the old 2,000 slide standard."
In a related story, Ted Turner is said to have set up a fund for the program shortly before his untimely death, with the stipulation that the Army keeps all certified mental health professionals away from soldiers.