Open letter to the Minister of Defense and to the Presidents of the Defense Parliamentary Commissions

07/01/19

The recent defensive mandate conferred on me for the protection of the family members of a military man, graduate of the Army, who died suicide in an Italian barracks, urges me to write short reflections to represent the indifferent need that we proceed, as soon as possible, with the enactment of stringent directives aimed at preventing the deaths, unfortunately increasing, of soldiers in service, both in Italy and abroad.

Faced with the alarming phenomenon of suicides, which affects the military of all weapons and in particular the Carabinieri, as well as the police forces, it is necessary to intervene in order to submit the military to more accurate periodic medical examinations and in case there are also slight psychological problems, they foresee, in the protocol, the immediate specialist check and in any case the immediate exclusion from armed services or the elimination of the equipment of the ordinance weapon, in order to prevent every possible and unhealthy use of the same for self-injurious purposes.

The protocol must also provide for the transmission to the Parliamentary Commissions, by the major states of arms, of periodic statistical data on the medical checks carried out on the military in service, so that the responsibility of the hierarchical superiors is emphasized, as well as provided specific and public information on the effectiveness of visits, designed to prevent and control any possible personal problems.

The growing social alarm linked to the perception of a dull malaise that winds through the military can not be ignored, which, even from the point of view of moral unease in the face of young and older colleagues who take their lives, repeatedly triggers the risk of a domino effect of negative emulation.

Nor can the phenomenon be relegated to one, even if blameworthy and painful, individual choice to want to take life away, in front of which to record, in fact and from time to time, a guilty indifference of the upper hierarchical scales.

Nor can the deep pain of whole families and communities undergo a military appearance - an emblem with which the generality of citizens identifies security and defense of the state - which reaches the extreme act of taking one's life with the inevitable consequences. on perception, negative or at least perplexed, on the moral condition of members of the armed forces and public security.

We can not relegate the worrying phenomenon of military suicides to dramatic choices, but individual, as if every military was not a unitary and integrated part of the social body organized to protect the defense and security of the state.

The alarming news on the issue of suicide in the military field should not affect the awareness of professionalism and dedication to the service that our military hear and communicate to civil society and, in this sense, we must solicit, to this end and above all, the utmost attention the commanders, at the various levels of responsibility, in ensuring, in advance, the necessary listening to requests for assistance, sometimes not well expressed or collected, that the military represent towards the superiors, coming to be found, very often and as physiological, to operate in conditions of high stress.

I beg you, Minister of Defense, to receive and evaluate my alarmed consideration, with the sensitivity and attention that distinguishes it and which has manifested, on several occasions, on issues of great importance concerning military life and the safety of citizens.

I trust that it will take into account and share the concern that certainly does not escape the most, but I feel the duty to demonstrate to raise awareness, once again, the institutions to tackle, in decisive and radical terms, a serious phenomenon that must necessarily be reduced and on the contrary, by any appropriate means, to guarantee serenity and awareness of their role to each operator of Public Security and Defense.

Avv. Giulio Murano

Cassationist - ISSMI-CASD legal advisor

(photo: US Army)