It's the second consecutive drop in total deaths, but is that really cause for joy?
Suppose you are a captain in charge of a army company consisting of roughly 200 soldiers. You and your company are deployed to an active war zone complete with a rear echelon and active areas of operation that have a varied frequency of engagement with the enemy. During your time on the ground you are responsible for civilian affairs, the training of new and current soldiers, deployment tactics, strategy for engaging the enemy and surviving. You are on a three year tour and receive a yearly report of your company's line of duty deaths.
During your third year you receive the year two combat fatalities report.
A total of 87 soldiers died in 83 incidents. 91 died in the first year.
22 soldiers died in activities related to combat operations.
16 soldiers died in vehicle accidents not related to improvised explosive devices.
15 soldiers dies from other causes while inside the FOB, firebase or CP.
12 soldiers die during in-country training.
So, while the number of total deaths dropped during your deployment, twice the number died this year doing other activities than those actually engaged in combat.
Is that progress?
Image above will take you to the USFA's announcement on the 2010 firefighter line of duty deaths.
The majority of our young men and women, and older ones too as the data shows, aren't all dieing inside burning buildings.
If this were combat, would we be happy?
FORWARD OPERATING BASE SHARANA, Afghanistan — A CH-47F from Task Force Attack, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, currently attached to 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division awaits a call to pick up soldiers they dropped off in eastern Afghanistan. (1st ACB, 1st Cav. Div. photo)
Also on Backstep Firefighter …
- On Duty & Line of Duty:
What Is the Difference? – March 17, 2013
- Culture Change Challenge: Why Have More Firefighters Died This Way Than in Vacant Buildings? – December 18, 2013
- The Second 10* – May 11, 2013
- The Third 10* – June 18, 2013