By Mollie MillerAugust 15, 2008
FORT RUCKER, Ala.--Fort Rucker\'s Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) program was recognized as one of the best programs in the Army last week during a conference in Virginia. BOSS President Cpl. Jason Hoekema, Senior Military BOSS Advisor Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Felder and Directorate of Morale, Welfare and Recreation BOSS Advisor Evy Bludsworth accepted five total awards for the Fort Rucker program during a Friday evening ceremony at the Department of the Army BOSS Forum at the National Conference Center in Landsdowne, Va. Fort Rucker's BOSS program received more awards than any other of the more than 80 programs represented at the training forum. "We put a lot of hard work into the (BOSS) program and it felt really great to see all the hard work pay off," Hoekema, 1st Battalion, 11th Aviation Regiment air traffic controller, said Tuesday. "It was a fantastic night." The Fort Rucker BOSS program received four top awards, Best BOSS Photo, Best BOSS Event, Senior Military BOSS Advisor of the Year and MWR BOSS Advisor of the Year, and the program overall received a second place award in the extra small installation category. "We were hoping we would pull quite a few awards but I think everyone was surprised by (little) Fort Rucker," Bludsworth said. The mission of the BOSS program is to "enhance the morale and welfare of single Soldiers, increase Soldier retention, and sustain combat readiness through community service, recreation and leisure events," according to the organization's Web site. The program is built on the core components of well being, community service, recreation and leisure. Felder, who received the Senior Military BOSS Advisor of the Year award, was recommended for the award because his "drive and determination to improve the BOSS program resulted in a thriving and outstanding program," according to a letter of recommendation written by Col. (P) Warren Phipps, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker deputy commander. "Felder was always willing to listen to concerns and recommendations concerning the improvement of the BOSS program," Phipps wrote. "His dedication to Soldiers is the primary reason that Fort Rucker's BOSS program is strong, vibrant and successful." Bludsworth, who received the MWR BOSS Advisor of the Year award, said the Fort Rucker BOSS program is successful because of great teamwork and participation. "Making people aware of the program and putting together events that single Soldiers want to be a part of are keys to our success," she said. Hoekema said a successful BOSS program makes a huge difference in the lives of single Soldiers on Fort Rucker. "It is important to have a successful BOSS program because it really enhances a single Soldier's quality of life," Hoekema said. "We give Fort Rucker's single Soldiers a voice and great things to do." The next major BOSS event will be the Scion Slam basketball tournament and custom car show Sept. 6. BOSS representatives will also participate in a fishing event with the Hearts Apart Waiting Families Group Oct. 4 and will sponsor a post haunted house Oct. 25. BOSS program representatives meet every Wednesday at 4 p.m. in Bldg. 6813 and anyone interested in participating in the program is invited to attend. For more information about Fort Rucker BOSS, e-mail Bludsworth at firstname.lastname@example.org.