|Marine Corps Col. Philip Lark, Commandant of the Marine Corps chair for the Marshall Center, presents the award to Mestemacher. (DOD Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Smith/RELEASED)|
By Jason Tudor
GCMC Chief of Public Affairs
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany – An officer lauded as the top Sexual Assault Response Coordinator for the U.S. Marine Corps received her award here at the Defense Department’s George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies May 10.
Major Robyn Mestemacher, stationed at Camp Pendleton, Calif., is one of six recipients of the DOD’s Exceptional Sexual Assault Response Coordinator Award for 2012. She serves as the operations officer for the I Marine Expeditionary Force personnel branch, but is currently undergoing language sustainment training at the Partner Language Training Center Europe, a directorate of the Marshall Center. She speaks Russian and is also a Marine Corps foreign area officer.
Following her completion of the language course, Mestemacher received the award from Marine Corps Col. Philip Lark, Commandant of the Marine Corps chair of the Marshall Center. In early April, the Pentagon named Mestemacher and five others as top SARCs from a field of about 1,000 nominees. Mestemacher had not formally received the award due to travel and other duties.
The St. Louis native with 13 years in the Marine Corps accepted the collateral duty as SARC Feb. 1, 2012. As the SARC, Mestemacher served IMEF as a point of contact for integrating and coordinating sexual assault victim care. She was responsible for ensuring a victim support system is in place that provides around-the-clock sexual assault response capabilities for all victims within their designated area of responsibility.
Mestemacher received the honor with mixed feelings.