Small Wars Journal

Army Report: Self-Doubt and Sleep Deprivation Led to 2-Star's Suicide

Army Report: Self-Doubt and Sleep Deprivation Led to 2-Star's Suicide by Meghann Myers, Army Times

Maj. Gen. John Rossi was two days away from pinning on a third star and taking the reins at U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command last summer when he hanged himself.

Army investigators ruled his July 31 death a suicide and attributed the tragedy to a wave of career and medical stress that impaired his judgment and distorted his sense of self-worth, coming to a head that last week in July, according to a 15-6 investigation released Wednesday.

"They ultimately overwhelmed his psychological defenses and ability to cope with these negative emotions, resulting in his decision to commit suicide during the last period of time in which he was likely to be alone before assuming command of the SMDC," according to the report.

The findings have prompted an Army-wide review of mental health issues in the general officer corps to be headed up by a three-star, Army Secretary Eric Fanning told Army Times in a Jan. 4 interview…

"We will continue to work with and teach our leaders to create an environment where it's okay to ask for help no matter your position or rank, and reinforce in all soldiers and leaders that it is their duty to lend a helping hand," an Army spokesman said in a statement to Army Times…

Read on.