STMSS29 – Rear Adm(R) Tony Kurta – Policy Approach to Suicide Prevention

About Today’s Guest: 

Mr. Tony Kurta performed the duties of Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.

Mr. Tony Kurta assumed the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Personnel Policy on September 8, 2014.

A member of the Senior Executive Service, he was responsible for recruiting, retention, compensation, travel, and the related human resource management for the 1.4 million Active Duty military members of the U .S. Armed Services

A native of Columbia Falls, Montana, he graduated with merit from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1981, earned an M.A. in National Security Studies from Georgetown University, is a distinguished graduate of the Air Command and Staff College, and was a National Security Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Mr. Kurta’s career includes over 32 years on active duty as a Navy Surface Warfare Officer, during which he commanded USS Sentry (MCM 3), USS Guardian (MCM 5), USS Warrior (MCM 10), USS Carney (DDG 64), Destroyer Squadron Two Four and Combined Joint Task Force, Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA). As CJTF-HOA, his command included Active and Reserve officers and enlisted, Navy, Army, Marines, Air Force, Special Operations, National Guard, inter-agency and coalition personnel.  Shore assignments included: Chief, Special Actions Division on the Joint Staff; Director, Surface Officer Distribution Division (Pers-41) at the Navy Personnel Command; Director for Policy, Resources and Strategy for U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa; and Director, Military Personnel Policy (N13) on the OPNAV Staff.  Mr. Kurta retired from the Navy in 2013 as a Rear Admiral.

He has also served as a Senior Leader in the Department of the Navy from December 2013 through September 2014 as the Director of Navy Flag Officer Management and Development where he was responsible for flag officer community management and executive development.

His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medals, Legions of Merit, Meritorious Service Medals, and various other awards and unit commendations.

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Rear Admiral Kurta’s LinkedIn Profile

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Shauna’s latest book: Warrior: How to Support Those Who Protect Us

Duane’s latest book: Military in the Rear View Mirror: Mental Health and Wellness in Post-Military Life


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Duane K. L. France is a combat veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as a mental health counselor practicing in the state of Colorado. Do you want to join the conversation regarding veteran mental health? Share, like, and comment. Read Duane's previous posts and follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn. Keep the conversation about #veteranmentalhealth going.