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Joint Service Leadership signs SAAPM Proclamation

Hawaii Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Braden Sakai, left, commander of the 154th Wing, Navy Capt. Mark Manfredi, chief of staff for Navy Region Hawaii, Navy Capt. Stanley Keeve Jr., commander of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, and U.S. Air Force Col. Robert Cioppa, vice commander of 15th Wing, sign the Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM) proclamation during an official ceremony at Hickam Memorial Theater at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, April 2, 2015. This year's SAAPM theme is "Eliminate sexual assault. Know your part. Do your Part." and focuses on bystander intervention. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Gabrielle Joyner/Released)

Hawaii Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Braden Sakai, left, commander of the 154th Wing, Navy Capt. Mark Manfredi, chief of staff for Navy Region Hawaii, Navy Capt. Stanley Keeve Jr., commander of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, and U.S. Air Force Col. Robert Cioppa, vice commander of 15th Wing, sign the Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM) proclamation during an official ceremony at Hickam Memorial Theater at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, April 2, 2015. This year's SAAPM theme is "Eliminate sexual assault. Know your part. Do your Part." and focuses on bystander intervention. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Gabrielle Joyner/Released)

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- Senior leadership and service members assigned to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, as well as community partners, attended the base's 2nd annual joint signing of the Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM) proclamation on April 2, at Hickam Memorial Theater.

The theme for this year's SAAPM is "Eliminate sexual assault. Know your part. Do your Part." According to Cmdr. Jeanie Blankenship, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) coordinator for Navy Region Hawaii, the main point of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month is to bring awareness to the fact that bystander intervention is the responsibility of all service members.

"The purpose of the proclamation ceremony today was to get the Air Force and Navy together to take a stand," said Blankenship. "If you see your shipmate getting ready to make a bad decision or going down the wrong path, you need to step up and step in."

Brig. Gen. Braden K. Sakai, commander, 154th Wing, Hawaii Air National Guard, Capt. Stanley Keeve Jr., commander, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Capt. Mark S. Manfredi, chief of staff, Navy Region Hawaii, and Col. Robert O. Cioppa, vice commander, 15th Wing, came together to sign the proclamation.

"We will recommit ourselves and we will commit to fighting against these behaviors that rob the dignity of our service and our shipmates," said Manfredi about signing the proclamation.

SAPR Victim Advocate for Navy Region Hawaii, Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Samuel Shipley echoed Manfredi's position.

"Everybody knows or should know that sexual assault is just unacceptable," said Shipley. " Events such as these are a continued effort to create awareness of what is and what is not acceptable, and to keep trying to get people to not only understand that but to join in the fight to eradicate it from our military and the world in general."

During the ceremony, Blankenship also addressed the importance of working together as a team to eliminate harmful behavior amongst service members.

"Military wide, we've come together and said 'hey, we need to continue to be a team and not break these bonds of trust," said Blankenship. "We're committed to bringing awareness so that everybody understands that there are actions that are going to be taken, and there are actions that are not going to be tolerated."