BOSS training educates, shares ideas
Arnie Cole, director of the Installation Management Command-Europe Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation division, talks to participants of the region’s 2008 Better Opportunity for Single Soldiers training session. IMCOM-Europe is sponsoring a 2009 BOSS training session April 27-May 2 in Schwetzingen, Germany.

SCHWETZINGEN, Germany - Installation Management Command-Europe is sponsoring a Better Opportunity for Single Soldiers training session here April 27-May 2.

And to ensure each installation benefits from the week-long event, the region Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation division is inviting garrison-level BOSS program presidents, senior enlisted advisers and FMWR advisers.

"By bringing them all together at one time, there is a tremendous amount of shared experience and learning that takes place - which benefits everyone," said Peter Shallish of IMCOM-Europe FMWR.

Indeed, at last year's BOSS training opportunity, Arnie Cole, director of IMCOM-Europe FMWR, said: "Having forums like this helps us make better decisions. When we start distributing resources, we had better know what (the troops want) ... the single Soldier's voice is important."

Besides IMCOM-Europe, participants will hear from members of the Army's FMWR Command; Army and Air Force Exchange Service; Defense Commissary Agency; and private industry. Topics range from marketing to special event budgeting.

The BOSS program is centered on improving the quality of life for single/unaccompanied Soldiers by raising well-being issues, providing recreation opportunities and ensuring community integration.

It also serves as a leadership tool as by setting "the conditions for junior Soldiers and noncommissioned officers to interact, ultimately enhancing mentorship and individual development," said IMCOM-Europe Command Sgt. Major Tracey Anbiya.

And with many Army in Europe Soldiers having served downrange, BOSS also plays a role in reintegration.

Last year, the U.S Army Garrison Schweinfurt BOSS program ran an initiative dubbed "This One's for You," that included a series of recreational activities meant especially for redeploying troops. Plus agencies - such as Army Community Service and the Army Substance Abuse Program - provided in-depth classes on topics such as alcohol awareness and family reconnection. The program was open to every Soldier facing difficulties in readjusting to normal life following 15 intense months in a combat zone.

Moreover, the program was designed to "deal with reintegration in a healthy, fun-filled way ... in a more relaxed environment than normal redeployment briefings," said Silvia Joiner, the garrison's FWMR adviser for BOSS.

Spc. John Maki, the current IMCOM-Europe BOSS representative, attended the 2008 forum as the USAG Grafenwoehr program president. As he said last year, when it comes to supporting Soldiers and their communities, "BOSS has no limits ... (but) it's our job to gear the program toward the target audience."

Accordingly, "Leadership at all levels understands that the BOSS program and events are critical to the morale of our single Soldiers," said Anbiya.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16