Two U.S. Navy sailors assigned to a pair of aircraft carriers died by suicide this month. The deaths, one in Virginia and one in Washington state, bring the total of Navy suicides in the last two months up to three. 

A sailor assigned to the USS George Washington died on Monday, Jan. 23. first reported the news, confirming it was a suicide at a private residence at Newport News, Virginia, not aboard the aircraft carrier. The sailor’s name has not been released.

Five days prior to that, Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Christopher Carroll died aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt. The Kitsap County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the death as a suicide. The USS Theodore Roosevelt is currently undergoing maintenance at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.

Subscribe to Task & Purpose Today. Get the latest military news, entertainment, and gear in your inbox daily.

Carroll’s suicide comes less than two months after the death of Jacob Slocum, who died on Dec. 5. The 23-year-old served as an Electrician’s Mate (Nuclear) 3rd class aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt. The Kitsap Sun first reported on Slocum’s demise. According to his obituary, his service included deployments in the South China Sea on the aircraft carrier. USS Theodore Roosevelt spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Ben Anderson told the Kitsap Sun there had been another suicide roughly a year prior to Slocum’s.

The Kitsap Sun reported that after Slocum’s death the Navy put additional resources onto the aircraft carrier, including psychologists and chaplains from Naval Base Kitsap. The ship’s commanders also brought in a Special Psychiatric Rapid Intervention Team from a nearby Navy hospital. 

Those three deaths are among a string of Navy suicides in recent months. Between October and November four sailors assigned to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center in Norfolk, Virginia committed suicide, two after the Navy initiated a mental health stand down at the installation. A therapist brought in to help sailors pointed to “toxic leadership” at the facility. 

The sailor who died on Monday was not the first from the USS George Washington to die by suicide either. 10 sailors died on the carrier between the middle of 2021 and summer 2022, including at least one confirmed suicide, with others suspected of also being the case. The Navy’s top enlisted sailor visited the crew in April, but his efforts to raise morale failed. 

The Navy has been trying to address mental health issues in the service. The Department of the Navy also teamed up with the Department of Veterans Affairs to distribute free gun locks to service members and veterans at VA sites and naval facilities. 

If you are struggling and thinking about suicide, or are concerned about a friend, the lifeline is available 24/7 and can be reached by dialing 988. Press 1 to go to the Veterans Crisis Line.

The latest on Task & Purpose

Want to write for Task & Purpose? Click here.