Fort Carson BOSS reps talk quality of life
October 8, 2010
FORT CARSON, Colo.-About 55 representatives from units across Fort Carson gathered for the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers Army Family Action Plan conference at Elkhorn Conference Center Sept. 28.
The conference is a precursor to the installation AFAP conference to be held later this year, said Sgt. Curtis Bartlett, BOSS president.
The conference began with remarks from Bartlett; Nancy Montville, Army Community Service Family Enrichment Program manager; and Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. James A. Kilpatrick.
"It is important that ... you put your heads together and make some good recommendations on what you want to have changed in the Army, what you want to have changed for single Soldiers," Kilpatrick said.
After an icebreaker to put them at ease, the BOSS reps broke into five groups for the daylong conference to determine the top five single Soldier issues that would advance to the installation conference, where other demographics - such as spouses, retirees and married Soldiers - would also be represented and issues of concern would likely be more family-oriented, Bartlett said.
"Single Soldiers need to be represented," he said. "You have ... different demographics at one AFAP talking about the same stuff, and the single Soldiers' issues are completely different. The way this (BOSS) AFAP works is we provide the venue for the single Soldiers to communicate (their issues) without having to be (overwhelmed) by the rest of the different demographics. The single Soldier doesn't have to fight as hard to get his issues through, because we are already providing the top five."
Each group determined its top five issues, which were then presented before all attendees to be whittled down to the top five overall, based on votes from the reps in attendance, said Michele Bean, BOSS adviser.
Since only five issues would advance, facilitators were on hand to help the reps determine which were most important to them, Bean said.
"Sometimes we have to give them the measurement marks in the fact of, why is it important'" Bean said. "This is like the World Series for quality-of-life issues; it's one of the pillars of the BOSS program."
While the conference was a means to send issues possibly all the way to the Army level, Bartlett and Bean work throughout the year on installation-level quality-of-life issues for single Soldiers.
"It's not just once a year, quality of life is part of the program all through the year," Bean said. "Quality of life is pretty much the bread and butter of the BOSS program, and that comes in the form of recreation and everything else, but their everyday issues and how they are living here on Fort Carson is what the program was created for and is why we are here."
Fort Carson BOSS's top five issues:
Single Soldiers identified the following issues to be forwarded to the installation Army Family Action Plan conference to be held later this year.
- Meal cards versus basic allowance for subsistence
- Single parent basic allowance for housing
- Barracks options for ranks of promotable specialist and higher
- Freedom in barracks
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