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DoD Renames Exceptional SARC Award, Honors Former Navy SARC, Awards Navy SARC

Raquel Hernandez

05/21/20 11:47 AM

From: Commander, Navy Installations Command Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program

A Navy civilian employee from California has been selected as the Exceptional Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) of the year by the Department of Defense.

Every year, the DoD recognizes an individual among the service branches as the Exceptional Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) of the year. The award recognizes a SARC for their exceptional efforts and innovations while serving their community, highlighting their outstanding professional service in support of survivors of sexual assault.

The DoD recently renamed the Exceptional SARC Award in honor of Elizabeth “Liz” Blanc, a DoD professional and former Navy SARC who passed away in March of this year.

“Renaming this award is a small way to honor Liz’s immeasurable impact to the Department of Defense,” said Dr. Nathan Galbreath, Acting Director of the DoD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO). “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.”

This year, DoD SAPRO recognizes Navy SARC Raquel Hernandez of Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore, Calif., as the 2020 Liz Blanc Exceptional SARC Award recipient.

Hernandez’s accomplishments include the provision of a range of trainings to active and reserve personnel, partnerships with Victim Legal Counsel, Family Advocacy Program, and the Sailor Assistance and Intercept for Life program to provide robust and coordinated services for military victims, and excellence in administration and oversight of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program at NAS Lemoore.

Additionally, Hernandez actively engages in community partnerships as a standing member of the Fresno County and Tulare County Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs).

During Sexual Assault Awareness Prevention Month 2019, Hernandez coordinated a variety of awareness and prevention events with the local commissary, Starbucks, and galley facilities. Well-known to the NAS Lemoore community for her art-based initiatives throughout the years, she provided educational activities via rock painting classes, hosted at the local Fleet & Family Support Center. Recognized as “Best in Region” at Commander Naval Region Southwest (CNRSW), her superior leadership, enthusiastic team spirit, and subject matter expertise are a boon to the military and civilian community alike.

“Raquel is the best SARC I have ever seen,” said Capt. Douglas Peterson, commanding officer, NAS Lemoore.

Commander Naval Installation Command heartily recognizes Raquel Hernandez in her tireless devotion to the Navy SAPR Program and survivors everywhere. Bravo Zulu, Raquel!

This article was written from excerpts from a DoD announcement and the CNRSW nomination package. For more information on the Liz Blanc Exceptional SARC Award visit: