Army rule death of Maj. Gen. John Gregory Rossi, 55, on July 31, at his home in Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, a case of suicide
The highest-ranking soldier ever to have taken his own life.
Gen Rossi was just two days from pinning on his third star and taking command of Army Space and Missile Command when he killed himself
Gen John Rossi adrressed the issue of suicide among soldiers at a March conference on preventing troops from killing themselves
The Army acknowledged Friday that Maj. Gen. John Rossi committed suicide on July 31, making him the highest-ranking soldier ever to have taken his own life.
The 55-year-old Rossi was a 1983 West Point graduate, and his more than 30 years of military service included time in Korea, Germany and Iraq.
Tributes in his obituary described him as a “true family man,” espresso aficionado and fan of the Mets and Giants. He was just two days from his third star and taking command of Army Space and Missile Command when he killed himself at his home at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama.
Investigators could find no event, infidelity, misconduct or drug or alcohol abuse, that triggered Rossi’s suicide, said a U.S. government official with direct knowledge of the investigation. It appears that Rossi was overwhelmed by his responsibilities, said the official speaking annonymously. Ironically in March, 2016 Rossi himself adrressed the issue of suicide among soldiers at a conference on preventing troops from killing themselves.
He held up a card from his wallet with photos of 10 soldiers who had died under his command at Fort Sill, Okla. Four of whom had committed suicide.
Rossi led off the event by reading the reports of recent suicide attempts to the soldiers at the event, according to a news story on the Army’s web site. He told the conference that he received reports of four soldiers per week thinking about or attempting suicide.
“We are ultimately responsible for soldiers both on and off duty,” Rossi said.
On Friday, the Rossi’s family asked for privacy and called on soldiers with emotional problems to seek help.
“To all the other families out there, to the man or woman who may be facing challenging times, please seek assistance immediately,” according to a statement released on the family’s behalf by the Army.