WASHINGTON (NNS) -- A Navy civil servant from California was recently named the Exceptional Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) of the year by the Department of Defense.
Raquel Hernandez of Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore, California, will receive the 2020 Liz Blanc Exceptional SARC Award. The award recognizes a SARC for exceptional efforts and innovations while serving the community and highlights outstanding professional service in support of survivors of sexual assault.
According to the citation, Hernandez provided a range of training sessions to active duty and reserve personnel and forged partnerships with multiple organizations and programs to provide robust, coordinated services for military victims. She also showed excellence in administration and oversight of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program at NAS Lemoore. Hernandez also engages in community partnerships as a standing member of the Fresno County and Tulare County Sexual Assault Response Teams.
DoD recently renamed the award in honor of Elizabeth “Liz” Blanc, a DoD professional and former Navy SARC who died in March.
“Renaming this award is a small way to honor Liz’s immeasurable impact to the Department of Defense,” said Nathan Galbreath, acting director of the DoD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office. “She tirelessly worked to assist victims of sexual assault even up to a few days before her passing. She was a consummate professional and one of the most highly skilled advocates with whom I’ve ever worked.”
During Sexual Assault Awareness Prevention Month 2019, Hernandez coordinated awareness and prevention events with the local commissary, Starbucks, and galley facilities. Well-known to the NAS Lemoore community for her art-based initiatives, she provided educational activities via rock-painting classes, hosted at the local Fleet & Family Support Center. She was also recognized as “Best in Region” at Commander Naval Region Southwest for her superior leadership, enthusiastic team spirit, and subject matter expertise.
“Raquel is the best SARC I have ever seen,” said Capt. Douglas Peterson, commanding officer of NAS Lemoore.
For more news from Commander, Navy Installations Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/cni/.