Kentucky Guardsman honored for creative contributions

By Walt Leaumont, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

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Sgt. Josh Kemp with the 2nd Battalion, 75th Recruiting and Retention Command was honored by the National Guard Bureau for his graphic design work in support of the Department of Defense’s Safe Helpline number. Kemp was presented the 2015 Sexual Assault Prevention Innovation Award for his contribution. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Sgt. Joshua Kemp with the 2nd Battalion, 75th Recruiting and Retention Command received the 2015 Sexual Assault Prevention Innovation Award Oct. 23.

The award recognizes Service members and Department of Defense (DoD) civilians whose work in support of the military community has been particularly noteworthy. DoD created the award to spark creativity and incentivize efforts to address not only sexual assault prevention, but also ideas that enhance overall command climate. Kemp was recognized for proactively participated in peer-to-peer mentorship on topics of healthy relationships, responsible drinking, and bystander intervention in social settings.

Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, Kentucky’s adjutant general presented the award during a presentation that was held in conjunction with a video teleconference with Gen. Frank J. Grass, chief of the National Guard Bureau.

“This was a collaborative effort with the Sexual Assault Response Center, this award is for all who helped with this project,” said Kemp. “And I have to thank my command staff for creating a climate that allows for developing and implementing creative solutions.”

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Sgt. Josh Kemp with the 2nd Battalion, 75th Recruiting and Retention is presented the 2015 Sexual Assault Prevention Innovation Award by Maj. Gen. Edward Tonini in Frankfort, Ky., Oct. 23, 2015. (Kentucky National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Scott Thomas)

One of the creative solutions Kemp developed was a mobile marketing campaign centered on wrapping General Services Administration (GSA) vehicles with the DoD Safe Helpline logo and contact information. The campaign is also an example to the Soldiers and Airmen of the Kentucky Guard that the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program has the support of senior leadership and sexual misconduct will have severe consequences.

“We have a zero tolerance in Kentucky for such actions, and we’re not afraid to spread the word of our program,” said Maj. John Harvey, the state’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Officer.

“Without Sergeant Kemp’s enthusiasm and ingenuity, the car wrap idea never would have culminated into a finished product, for so many people to see as this car drives by.”

According to Harvey Kemp has played an integral role in raising awareness of sexual assault since arriving at Joint Force Headquarters in 2009. Not to be deterred by rank restrictions inhibiting his ability to serve as a Victim Advocate, Kemp has found creative ways to make an impact in other areas by leveraging his passion, talent, and dedication for sexual assault prevention.

He constantly mentors his peers on attitudes, behaviors, and personal responsibility when in social settings and informs fellow Service members of sexual assault prevention and response information and resources. He leads hip-pocket training on responsible drinking and bystander intervention methods so Soldiers can be better prepared in the event a sexual assault occurs. Kemp also indirectly supports families of Kentucky Guard Soldiers by providing context to his wife, Rebecca, a Family Readiness Support Assistant, on the regulations and policies pertaining to dependent members of the military affected by sexual assault.

“Regardless of the message, the Kentucky Guard is a family and we must make sure everyone knows what we stand for and how we can help when the time comes,” he said.

“This is about getting the word out and this is just one more way we can do just that.”

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