Jerry Curry: March 7, 2013

MajGenJerryCurry Jerry Ralph Curry

Major General, US Army, Retired


Jerry Ralph Curry is author of the recently published book:  From Private to General: An African-American Rises Through The Ranks. It can be ordered through or major book stores. Jerry has had several careers. The first began when he graduated from high school and went to work as a welder in a steel foundry. He later enlisted in the US Army as a Private to fight in the Korean War. This led to a 34 year military career during which he worked his way up through the ranks of the infantry and retired a Major General. Next came a career in the private sector which included standing as a candidate for the U.S. Congress (1988) in south east Virginia. This was followed by three years as the Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

General Curry is a decorated combat veteran, Army Aviator, Paratrooper and Ranger who has served his country both in the military and as a Presidential political appointee for nearly forty years. He has many honors and decorations and has a strong background in federal regulatory matters, foreign affairs, national defense concerns, corporate planning and product liability litigation concerning the safety of motor vehicles. He is known for his forceful leadership skills and his demonstrated ability to perform multiple tasks concurrently well under crisis conditions. Most of Jerry’s time in the military was spent in troop assignments in the United States, Germany, and Korea.FromPrivateToGeneral_COVER

He served as Military Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Carter Administration, as Acting Press Secretary to the Secretary of Defense in the Reagan Administration, and as Administrator of NHTSA in the first Bush Administration. Along the way, by going to night school, he earned a bachelors degree from the University of Nebraska/Omaha, an M.A. in International Relations from Boston University, and a Doctorate from Luther Rice University.

During his second tour in Viet Nam he spent a year in the jungle as an Advisor embedded with a South Vietnamese Infantry Regiment. During his first tour, he flew reconnaissance planes, helicopters and worked in intelligence. General Curry also commanded the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command (TECOM) headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. TECOM was responsible for performing Engineer Development Testing  — to determine whether Army equipment is safe to operate, free from defects and is in compliance with all of the Army’s technical specifications – on all Army equipment – including Jeeps, trucks of all types, self-propelled artillery, tanks, electronics, airplanes, helicopters and missiles of all types.

Following his retirement he became President and Publisher of a public policy “think tank”, and was later a corporate Vice President for Program Development of a computer systems integration company. Dr. Curry has served on the Board of Directors of the Greater Washington DC Board of Trade, the USO, the American Red Cross, was a Trustee of the Federal City Council, and an ex-officio member of the National Research Counsel’s Executive Committee, Transportation Research Board. In 1982 he was named Washingtonian of the Year.

He is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine; the society of Automotive Engineers; Delta Phi Alpha, the National Honorary German Society; Phi Alpha Theta, the International Honor Society in History; the National Eagle Scout Association; was decorated by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands with the Order of Orange-Nassau; is a recipient of the United States Secret Service Honor Award; and is a Fellow in the Oxford Society of Scholars.

Before the Korean War came along and changed everything, Jerry, a dramatic operatic baritone, seriously considered pursuing a singing career. Over the years he has sung with myriad choral groups and in concert in Europe, the United States, the Far East and Brazil. His operatic CD Generally Singing, available through, has been well received.

Jerry Curry and his wife, Charlene, have four children, seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. Their mixed racial and cultural ancestry represents a rich cross section of many backgrounds – as colorful as America itself – having descended from African American slaves and freemen, Native Americans, French, Irish and Scottish.


  1. Kimberly l Cooke danish says

    My cousin soo proud of you And all you stand for!truly thankful! !

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