Objective Research on risk factors of suicide attempt has yielded little improvement in imminent risk detection for clinicians, due in part to the inherent limitations of self-report methodologies. Therefore, objective behavioral indicators of suicide risk that can be implemented practically with little cost in clinical settings are needed. Method The current study examined verbal response latency, measured as the length of time to answer a question asking about reasons for living (i.e., What are your reasons for living or not killing yourself?), as a potential indicator of suicide risk among 97 active duty Army personnel presenting to an emergency department or behavioral health clinic for current suicide ideation and/or a recent suicide attempt. Results Verbal response latency was significantly correlated with diminished wish to live at the participant level but was not significantly correlated with wish to die or overall severity of suicidal ideation. Conclusion Verbal response latency may serve as an objective indicator of suicide risk.