A new army recruit is in critical condition after attempting suicide during firearms training.
The incident happened at Blamey Barracks in Kapooka, southwest of Wagga Wagga in the NSW Riverina district, on Tuesday.
After being rushed to a nearby hospital, the soldier was taken to Canberra Hospital where he remains in the intensive care unit.
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defense said an investigation was underway.
A drill lesson is conducted at Blamey Barracks, Army Recruit Training Center, Kapooka, where a recruit attempted suicide during weapons training.
Soldier involved in tragic training center incident is in hospital intensive care unit
“The defense can confirm that a soldier was injured at Blamey Barracks, Kapooka, and is in critical condition,” she said.
“Our first priority is the well-being of the soldier, his family and his unit.
“Defence is working with NSW Police to investigate this matter.”
A Royal Commission into Defense and Veteran Suicide described the suicide rate as a “national tragedy” in an interim report released in August.
The Commission heard testimony that the largest cohort of service members who committed suicide were young or fresh out of training school.
Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the establishment of the Royal Commission in April 2021, just days after recalling Australian troops from Afghanistan.
At least 500 Afghan veterans have committed suicide since Australia entered the war in 2001, far outstripping the combat losses of the 46 ADF personnel killed in the line of duty during the same period .
The Commission received evidence that the suicide rate among male veterans was 27 percent higher than in the general Australian population and for female ex-service personnel it was 107 percent higher.
The Morrison government also promised a national commissioner would ensure all recommendations made during the two-year inquiry were implemented.
A soldier takes part in training exercises at the Army Recruit Training Centre, Kapooka, New South Wales.