Congratulations to Captain James J. Hurton from Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, on being selected as the winner of the inaugural Exceptional Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Victim Advocate (VA) of the Year Award. Captain Hurton was instrumental in improving SAPR processes in a complex environment servicing both Marines and a high volume of recruits. His innovative approach ensured numerous future Marines were provided access to services for sexual assault incidents that occurred prior to their enlistment.

Captain Hurton was appointed as the SAPR VA for First Recruit Training Battalion. Upon assuming his duties as the SAPR VA, he immediately began to renovate the SAPR program within the battalion. Captain Hurton ensured recruits understood the services the SAPR program provides, how to get SAPR services, and how to maintain the option to file a restricted report in an environment as intrusive as boot camp.

Understanding the recruit training environment, Captain Hurton identified a shortfall in recruits’ ability to speak to a SAPR VA discretely. Captain Hurton designed and implemented a way for recruits to write letters to the SAPR program to request to speak to a SAPR VA.  He marketed the new method to ensure the widest dissemination. Writing letters to the SAPR program has become a common practice across the Recruit Training Regiment.

Competition was particularly keen and resulted in a high number of nominations. All nominees are commended for their outstanding service and commitment to the SAPR program.