Public report locked by military after article on suicide regulations overdue


The Army blocked public access to a report on the status of upcoming releases after the Army Times referenced the report in an April 1 story about how the service failed to issue a long-awaited settlement. which will coordinate its suicide prevention programs.

The service initially announced that it would create dedicated suicide prevention regulations in 2020. In September 2021, the Army announced that it would publish this fall. Then, in November 2021, the army announced that it would intervene “in the first quarter of 2022”.

The Army Publications Directorate’s publication status report for fiscal year 2022, which was publicly available at the time, said on April 1 that the 90-page draft regulations were to be published. March 22. But it had not yet been published.

An Army spokesperson later confirmed that the settlement would be delayed until summer 2022.

The publication status report provided a public way to anticipate major regulatory and doctrine updates.

But less than a week after the April 1 article, the military moved the status report from publication to a website that requires users to log in with their common ID-issued access cards. armed in order to access the document.

Archived versions of the Directorate of Army Publications website available through the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine reveal that the website was updated between 5:24 p.m. EDT April 6 and 6:31 p.m. EDT April 7 . A change to the website, according to the Wayback Machine version change analysis tool, was the addition of a note that the status report now requires a CAC to access.

Army spokesman Lt. Col. Gabe Ramirez did not say whether the decision to restrict access to the publication’s status report was made directly in response to Army’s use. Times of it to describe the delay of the regulation on suicide prevention.

“The State of Army Publications Report is an internal management tool and working document to assist members of the Army Publications Directorate,” Ramirez said in an emailed statement. . “This document contains the status of publications and pre-decision information; as such, it is not appropriate to make this information publicly available and the report has been moved to an internal Army site.

Although the military said making the situation report publicly available is “not appropriate,” it had been publicly available since at least July 17, 2016, when the Wayback Machine first archived it at from the Army Publications Directorate website.

The removal of the status report appears to be the latest in a long line of anti-transparency actions the service has taken in recent years in response to accountability reports.

A June 2021 Task & Purpose investigation found that the service “has a problem with transparency” where officials sometimes hide access to information in an effort to control the narrative.

If you or a loved one is having thoughts of self-harm or suicide, you can confidentially seek help through the Military/Veteran Crisis Line at 800-273-8255, by text at 838255 or by cat to http://VeteransCrisisLine.net.

Davis Winkie is a senior reporter covering the military, specializing in accountability reports, personnel issues, and military justice. He joined Military Times in 2020. Davis studied history at Vanderbilt University and UNC-Chapel Hill, writing a master’s thesis on the influence of the Cold War-era Department of Defense. on Hollywood films of World War II.

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