Rear Adm. Kurta is the son of the late Dr. and Mrs. John A. Kurta of Columbia Falls, Mont. He graduated with merit from the U.S. Naval Academy and was commissioned an ensign in May 1981.
Sea assignments include: communications officer and anti-submarine warfare officer in USS Moinester (FF 1097); flag lieutenant on the staff of Commander, Cruiser Destroyer Group 12; combat systems officer in USS Comte de Grasse (DD 974); and operations officer, combat systems officer and material officer on the staff of Commander, Destroyer Squadron 32. As commanding officer of MCM Rotational Crew Delta, he commanded USS Sentry (MCM 3) from January to July 1995, USS Guardian (MCM 5), in Sasebo, Japan, from August to February 1996, and USS Warrior (MCM 10) from July to October 1996. His next assignment was as assistant surface captain detailer in the Bureau of Naval Personnel. Then, he served as commanding officer, USS Carney (DDG 64), deploying with John F. Kennedy Battle Group.
He served as chief, Special Actions Division on the Joint Staff, and next commanded Destroyer Squadron 24 deploying again with John F. Kennedy Strike Group. He was 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, most recently, commander, Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa in Djibouti.
Kurta holds a master’s degree with honors in National Security Studies from Georgetown University and is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Air Command and Staff College in Montgomery, Ala. He completed a tour as a National Security fellow at Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and various unit commendations.