This podcast from Military Times examines the alarming rate of military and veterans suicide, offering new insights based on research and effective clinical and peer support practices in suicide prevention. Hosted by Duane France, a retired Army combat veteran, author and mental health counselor, and Shauna Springer, a psychologist, author and nationally recognized expert on initiatives to benefit the military community, the podcast aims to move beyond awareness to identify actionable strategies that can impact the rising suicide rate among service members, veterans, and their families.
About this week’s guest
Tony Kurta is a former top Pentagon personnel official who performed the duties of deputy under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness. Kurta assumed the duties of deputy assistant secretary of defense for military personnel policy on Sept. 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 1.3 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 a master’s degree 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.
Kurta’s career includes over 32 years on active duty as a Navy surface warfare officer, during which he served as commander of the destroyer Carney, Destroyer Squadron Two Four and Combined Joint Task Force, Horn of Africa. 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. 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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