"NATO's enlargement has been an historical success, strengthening our alliance and serving as a powerful incentive to promote democratic reforms among aspiring members. I believe the process of NATO enlargement is not complete. NATO's door must remain open. However, NATO candidates must provide added value to the alliance. They must be contributors to security, not consumers of it."
- Gen. Bantz J. Craddock, NATO's supreme allied commander in testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, March 12. Several eastern European nations, including Croatia, Albania and Macedonia, wish to join NATO.
Gen. Bantz J. Craddock: NATO Forces make a difference in Afghanistan
Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS)
What is it?
The Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) program is designed to give single Soldiers a unified voice in issues that affect their quality of life, to provide recreation and leisure opportunities, and allow Soldiers to participate in community-service projects that help them remain active and productive during their free time.
The BOSS program's mission is to enhance the morale and welfare of single Soldiers, increase retention and sustain combat readiness through planning and execution of community services, recreation and leisure events, and identifying quality-of-life issues for resolution.
Launched in 1989, BOSS has 82 programs throughout the continental United States, Europe, Korea, and the Pacific region. There are six IMCOM region program managers. Each installation has a BOSS president, an MWR advisor and a senior military advisor (the garrison command sergeant major), to administer the program's activities. A vice president, secretary and treasurer also serve on the installation's BOSS executive council.
What has BOSS done?
BOSS deals with issues that directly or indirectly influence or enhance the morale, living environment, personal growth and development of Soldiers. Issues discussed during BOSS meetings are directed to the appropriate command or staff agency on military installations for resolution. Army-wide concerns are forwarded to the Army Family Action Plan for possible resolution by the Department of the Army.
The BOSS program also works to plan recreation and leisure activities for single Soldiers on each installation. BOSS gives Soldiers an opportunity to volunteer for personally rewarding community projects and events, such as roadside cleanup projects, volunteering as teacher's aides in elementary and middle schools, and providing chaperones for high school proms.
What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future?
During the Global War on Terror, BOSS leaders have shifted their focus to: "What else can we do?" For starters, they plan to correct the misperception that BOSS exists only for single, enlisted Soldiers. All Army Morale, Welfare and Recreation patrons are welcome to participate in events generated by BOSS, which illustrates that it takes care of the entire community. Leaders of the Department of the Army's BOSS headquarters at the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command in Alexandria, Va., stress the need for BOSS Presidents to train BOSS reps to take BOSS programming downrange.
Why is this important to the Army?
With the current emphasis on improving the quality of life for Families through the Army Family Covenant, it's important to remember that single Soldiers make up 41 percent of our Active Duty force and we have the same obligation to provide them with a quality of life commensurate with their sacrifice and service. A recent Army wide survey indicates that that readiness and retention increase as MWR program use increases, but these programs are used less frequently by junior officers and enlisted Soldiers. With single and married Soldiers alike, quality of life is one of the largest determining factors in their decision to reenlist. We will strengthen the readiness of the Army by encouraging active participation in BOSS programming and therefore improving the quality of life for our single Soldiers.
- 2008 Strategic Communication Guide - Read the 2008 Army Strategic Communication Guide for key messages and updates
- Strategic Communication Coordination Group (SCCG) Workspace
- Army Public Affairs Portal
- Stories of Valor