An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NEWS | July 2, 2024

Kentucky Wildcats host MREP Soldier

By Capt. Kaitlin Baudendistel, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Over the last few weeks, the 2/138th hosted Lieutenant Andreas Märtson, a signal officer from Estonia, through the Military Reserve Exchange Program (MREP). Previously a professional basketball player in Estonia, Märtson got to visit the Joe Craft Center on the University of Kentucky’s campus during the cultural outing day Thursday, June 20th.

During the visit, Märtson and Soldiers from the 2/138th Field Artillery Battalion (FAB) watched the Wildcats practice, met the team and head coach Mark Pope, and toured the facility.

During the meet and greet, Märtson connected with Kerr Kriisa, a player for the Kentucky Wildcats also from Estonia.

Märtson spoke on what his experience with the 2/138th has been.

“This experience has been overwhelming, because everyone has been so great,” said Märtson. “Basketball is what I love, and what my son loves, so I’m really grateful to be here today.”

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Fugate, commander of the 2/138th FAB, spoke on the importance of the MREP program.

“There’s a lot of benefits to both us and our NATO partners. We’ve been able to learn from Lt. Märtson and him from us,” said Fugate. “Over the course of the last two weeks, we were able to learn how the Estonians conduct their operations and how we might be able to incorporate that into our TTPs (tactics, techniques, and procedures).”

Fugate also spoke on the importance of partnerships and the significance of the day.

“A big thank you to the University of Kentucky to allow us to watch practice and meet the team today. Not only was the experience incredible, but it was great to further build that connection and partnership.”

MREP is a coordinated international exchange program with NATO militaries to help develop cultural understanding, regional expertise and language proficiency and interoperability.

News Search

Narrow Search