Vice Admiral John P. Currier, who served as the 28th vice commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard until his 2014 retirement, died March 1 at age 68.
Currier passed away accompanied by family at his home in Traverse City, Mich.
His Coast Guard career began in 1976 when he was commissioned from Officer Candidate School; he was designated a Naval Aviator in 1977 and logged more than 6,000 flight hours over his career. Currier stood the watch at six Coast Guard Air Stations throughout his decades as a Coastie; he was commanding officer of Air Stations Detroit and Miami, served as Pacific Area chief of operations, and became area chief of staff. Promoted to flag rank in 2005, Currier served as assistant commandant for acquisition at headquarters and then as commander of the 13th District in the Pacific Northwest. In 2009, he assumed the duties of the Coast Guard’s chief of staff, and later transitioned that position to USCG’s first deputy commandant for mission support.
Currier assumed the position of vice commandant on May 18, 2012, relieving Vice Admiral Sally Brice-O’Hara. On May 20, 2014, Currier was relieved by Vice Admiral Peter Neffenger.
His awards include the Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Commendation Medal, and Achievement Medal. On July 14, 2011, he was designated the Ancient Albatross, the honor bestowed upon the longest-serving Coast Guard aviator on active duty.
The vice admiral’s professional recognition included the Harmon International Aviation Trophy, the Alaska Air Command SAR Pilot of the Year Award, American Helicopter Society, Fredrick L. Feinberg Award and the Naval Helicopter Association SAR Aircrew of the Year, all awarded for rescue operations.
Currier was from Westbrook, Maine, and graduated from the University of Southern Maine before earning a master’s degree in business from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He was a 1996 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Air War College.
Currier leaves behind his wife, Mary Jane, and their sons, Benjamin and Andrew.
A funeral Mass will be held March 6 at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 12675 Center Road, Traverse City, MI, 49686. Military honors will take place immediately following Mass with a luncheon afterward.