Suicide is a significant public health concern within the United States military. Suicide may occur before, during, and after military deployment or service for a multitude of reasons that may or may not be directly related to deployment. Therefore, it is crucial that mental health counselors are trained to identify risk at an early stage so they can offer evidence-based practices to manage and reduce it. Enhanced understanding of the similarities and differences in suicide risk and protective factors for civilian and military individuals is crucial for counselors who work directly with Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) active-duty personnel, veterans, and family members. This review aims to educate counselors about the role of demographic, life event, psychopathology, and behavioral and psychological variables in exacerbating or alleviating the desire to die. The information presented is based on an electronic search of medical and psychological databases for terms related to suicide by military service members. Recommendations related to identification, prevention, and management of suicide risk in OEF/OIF service members and beneficiaries are presented.

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