You are being asked to participate in a research study to look at the possible relationship between military leadership and suicide amongst the Armed Forces of the United States. If you agree to participate, you will be asked to complete the following survey. The main risk for this study is the discomfort you may experience recalling distressing memories of combat and the loss of fellow troops to suicide. Although you will not benefit directly from participating in this study, you will make a major contribution to the information known about leadership and suicide which may benefit others in the future. Your participation in this research is completely voluntary. You may also stop your participation at any time. If you do not want to participate or withdraw from the study early, there will be no penalty.
This study seeks subjects that are serving or served in the armed forces, that lost fellow troops to suicide either in theatre, following combat, or after discharge from service.
Although you will not benefit directly from participating in this study, the researchers will learn about the relationship between leadership and suicide and will use the information in the future to develop guidance to the Department of Defense and the Veterans Affairs.
Operation Vet Fit (OVF) will keep a record of all surveys in a secure database. Only the researcher will know the identity of study participants. The surveys you complete in this study will not be used or distributed for any research other than this project. OVF will only keep your identifiable information such as name and contact information indefinitely and may contact you for further follow up research.
If you feel that you have been injured as a direct result of participating in the study, or if you have any other questions about your participation, please contact Daniel R. Gaita, MA, LMSW at 203-994-2987.
Your completion of this survey means that you understand the information presented, and that you want to participate in the study. You understand that participation is voluntary, and you may withdraw from the study at any time.
I do not agree and will not be participating
What unit that you served with are you completing this survey for? Example: "24 MEU, BLT 3/6, Lima Company"
Locations and Area of Operation
While serving under the leadership you are completing this survey for, where were you? Example: Mogadishu Somalia in support of Operation Restore/Continue Hope
Chain of Command
What was your immediate chain of command that you are completing this survey information on (Example: Sgt smith, Plt SGT, 1stLt White, Plt Commander, LtCol. Young, BN Co, 1stSgt Jones, CO 1st Sgt, Sgt Maj. James, BN Sgt Maj., Cpl Carter, section NCO etc)
Please list the names and dates of all those who have committed suicide that served under the unit and leadership being covered in this survey. Please provide as much detail on their suicide circumstance as possible. Please include any domestic, economic, marital, court marshal, NJP information that you may have. (Example: Cpl Smith killed himself on March 1, 2012 by way of firearm, he was having some marital problems and got discharged dishonorably following a special court marshall for marijuana usage. He served with me in Iraq and was treated like shit by his plt sgt listed above. He witnessed a lot of his brothers die in combat and seemed to withdraw following deployment. He started drinking, showing up drunk to formations, and believed his wife was having an affair).
Thoughts on the suicides
Please detail any other observations you may have noticed by the leadership during the period covered in this survey. Example: (Sgt Jones was abusive. He would leave us out on patrol without proper food, water or supplies. During one incident, Sgt. Jones pointed his rifle at us and made us dig holes for no reason at all. He would regularly intimidate our NON-NCO with physical abuse, and threatened to kill us if we told the CO.)
Tell us about the overall leadership being covered in this survey. Example: (Col Jones was a prick, Our Staff NCO's had no respect for him and this resulted in a toxic combat environment where our NCO's and Non-NCO's were concerned about mission readiness, placing all of us, including the mission in danger. We were routinely required to run senseless patrols in hot areas due to poor mission preparation leading to multiple casualties. Meanwhile, the BN CO, LtCol Jackson was screwing the female Marines and threatening them if they told. It was a total shit show and we lost a lot of our troops because of it).