Defense Department Names 2017's Exceptional Sexual Assault Response Coordinators


Six sexual assault response coordinators are being recognized as part of the Defense Department’s annual observance of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.

Chosen from each branch of the armed services, these professional responders contributed outstanding efforts toward assisting military victims of sexual assault and demonstrated an unwavering commitment to programs that help to prevent the crime, officials said.

Defense Department's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office logo. DoD graphic
SAPRO logo
Defense Department's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office logo. DoD graphic

“The 2017 Exceptional SARCs of the Year deserve recognition for their committed service to ensure quality, around-the-clock sexual assault prevention and response programs and the best care for victims,” said Navy Rear Adm. Ann Burkhardt, director of DoD’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office. “Every year we continue to see the enthusiasm and compassion in this arena, which strengthens the department’s overall prevention and response efforts.”

This year’s exceptional SARC awardees are:

-- Army: Tiffany Griffin, 103rd Sustainment Command, Des Moines, Iowa;

-- Marine Corps: Jennifer L. Cauley, Marine Aviation Training Support Groups 21 and 23, Pensacola, Florida;

-- Navy: Kayla Mendoza, Naval Support Facility, Beaufort, South Carolina;

-- Air Force: Carmen Schott, 88th Air Base Wing, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio;

-- Coast Guard: Jennifer Parrish, District 13 at Base Seattle, Washington; and

-- National Guard Bureau: Army Sgt. 1st Class Stephanie Kennett, Mississippi National Guard.

Since 2009, DoD has annually recognized one sexual assault response coordinator from each service, with each service selecting nominees from within their ranks.

SARCs serve as the single point of contact for integrating and institutionalizing sexual assault victim care in the field, from initial report through case conclusion. These coordinators are responsible for ensuring that a support system is in place for all victims within their designated area of responsibility.

Service members’ interactions with SARCs can set the trajectory for their path to healing and influence their trust in the reporting process and military justice, SAPRO officials said. More than 20,000 SARCs across the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, National Guard Bureau, and Coast Guard receive training and certification in victim-centered care through the DoD Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program.