This is a topic that a lot of people have been talking about for a decade now. Things like 22 and other stunts that try to bring attention to this topic. Just today I had the following challenge. Now I have long thought on this issue, and I think the only real difference is intent and determination. Now one thing about people who attempt suicide among the general population is that you often have multiple attempts. Actress Barbara Bennett tried to kill herself 4 times before she ultimately did. Kurt Kobain attempted suicide at least 3 times before he shot himself. Sid Vicious tried 2 times before he did. Wendy O. Williams tried 2 times. The first by hammering a knife into her chest, the second by a drug overdose before succeeding with a gun. I think the biggest difference in people who have served is that by their training they simply tend to take action. Where as most people will tend to "dither" and play around with it (which is seen in the multiple attempts), somebody who spent years in being trained to simply act will do just that when they have reached that decision. And when the decision is made to act, they follow it through as they have been trained. Not half-hearted, they simply try to accomplish the task they set themselves on as best they can. And another career that results in high suicide rates is those in law enforcement. This is another group that is trained in much the same manner. When you decide to take an action, you do it as best as you can. I have 3 friends who have had at least 2 suicide attempts that I am aware of. One was by drugs/medication both times, one was by drugs the first time, then by stepping into traffic. One family member has had at least 5 attempts (4 by drugs/medication, one with a gun but panicked at the last moment and shot their arm). On the other hand I know 2 I served with that did. One jumped from the balcony of a 5 floor hotel, the other shot himself in the head. The reports showed no other attempts, only the one successful one. I tried to find statistics on number of attempts by military and non-military, but pretty much came up empty. But I would bet that the military side has a much lower number of attempts, as they are probably more likely to "get it right the first time".