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NEWS | Dec. 8, 2023

Drerup recognized by Supreme Allied Commander Europe for leadership

By Capt. Cody Stagner, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

Kentucky Army National Guard Capt. Sarah Drerup was recognized on December 5, 2023, in a ceremony at the Recruiting and Retention Battalion Headquarters for her accomplishments during her deployment in 2022. 

Lt. Col. Jason Mendez, commander of the R&R Battalion, hosted the event where Drerup received recognition from U.S. Army General Christopher G. Cavoli, Supreme Allied Commander Europe. 
"We were very proud and grateful that Capt. Drerup volunteered for this mission," said Lt. Col. Jason Mendez, commander of the R&R Battalion and former commander of the 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry Regiment. “She wasn't a part of the infantry battalion, but she sought us out when she saw there was a need. For those of you who work with her, you know her professionalism and her true care for Soldiers is very genuine." 
Drerup was recognized for her leadership while deployed to Kosovo with the Mountain Warriors in support of Operation Joint Guardian. 
“Operation Joint Guardian was such a unique and rewarding mission,” said Drerup, the current sexual assault response coordinator for the 1st Battalion 623rd Field Artillery Regiment. “I am so thankful for the opportunity to serve with the 1-149th and the chance to contribute positively to so many people’s lives.” 
As call-sign “Kilo 20,” she commanded a Liaison Monitoring Team (LMT) consisting of three sub-teams and nine personnel and was responsible for weekly planning and execution of Soldier and senior-leader engagements with community leaders. 
“I have to give credit to Delta Company and my hard-working liaison monitoring team, K20,” said Drerup. “Each Soldier on our team wanted to make a positive impact on the lives of the people of Klokot and Viti—our municipalities—and I know their service will have long-lasting, beneficial effects to the people of Kosovo.” 
Her team conducted more than 500 independent patrols, drove more than 100,000 kilometers, and participated in more than 40 community events purposed to build relationships and foster conflict prevention in the region of Kosovo. 
Drerup was nominated by Hungarian Army Maj. Gen. Ferenc Kajari, commander of the Kosovo Force (KFOR).  
According to Kajari, Drerup’s outstanding performance in leadership played a key role in supporting Kosovo’s Regional Command—East in maintaining a safe and secure environment and ensuring freedom of movement for all people in Kosovo. 
Cavoli approved and signed the award to formally acknowledge Drerup for her accomplishments. 
Drerup shared the signed letter she received from the four-star general. It reads, “You have demonstrated great qualities of professional competence, unwavering dedication, and remarkable leadership. We are proud of how you tackled the challenges during your time here and we thank you for your distinguished service to NATO.” 
Success stories like that of Capt. Sarah Drerup and the 1-149th Infantry contributed to the unit receiving the 2023 General Walter T. Kerwin, Jr. Readiness Award and Kentucky National Guard’s recognition as the best State National Guard for the year.

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