By Ms. Michelle Thomas (IMCOM)December 19, 2013
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii -- Camp Stanley's Better Opportunities for Single (and unaccompanied) Soldiers (BOSS) program was recognized as the best in the Pacific Region during an awards presentation here at the U.S. Army Installation Command Regional Headquarters Nov. 21.
Despite being located on a relatively small-sized installation just east of the city of Uijeongbu, the Camp Stanley BOSS council's robust program, which serves approximately 850 single and unaccompanied Soldiers, proved to be the best in the Pacific Region during fiscal year 2013.
After being reviewed by a rigorous scoring system developed by the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (FMWR) office at the region headquarters here, Camp Stanley excelled in all three areas or "pillars" of the BOSS program: Recreation and Leisure, Community Service and Well Being.
Ranking first among the three pillars of the Stanley BOSS program was community service, an area where, according to Col. John M. Scott, Commander, U.S. Army Garrison Red Cloud and Area I, Camp Stanley Soldiers "rocked it" for volunteerism.
"I think the difference-maker for the team out at Stanley is the very impressive volunteer program and the activities that they do," said Scott. "They truly are 'rocking it' in the volunteer programs for the local community."
Every Friday 12 to 15 BOSS members act as ambassadors of goodwill for the 2nd Infantry Division and Area I and serve lunch to approximately 300 to 400 Korean elders in an off-post soup kitchen.
"When we first started volunteering at the local Korean soup kitchen, we went there every other Friday, but the number of Soldiers who wanted to help increased so much, we asked if we could help out every Friday," said Sally Hall, Area I BOSS coordinator with USAG-Red Cloud and Area I.
"It's the Soldiers' desire to get involved and make a positive impact in the community that has enabled the BOSS Program here to become so successful," she said. "The soup kitchen is just one example."
During a time when the Army is placing emphasis on resiliency and revitalization, the IMCOM Pacific Region wanted to enhance the BOSS program's vigor and its dedication to the Soldiers it serves.
Region officials developed the region-level award in hopes of impacting the BOSS program in a positive way by recognizing the hard work and dedication of single service members throughout the Pacific region. The concept for a regional award program was devised last summer.
According to Mike Carlomany, recreation specialist at IMCOM-Pacific, the Army-wide award and recognition program for BOSS stopped in 2010.
"Pacific Region is the only region running an awards recognition program for BOSS," said Carlomany. "We talked to our leadership and they decided that revitalizing the award program at a region level would help drive the program.
"The idea is that the trophy will travel, creating a sense of competition and pride," added Carlomany. "We hope that it will spur further competition and encourage more participation."
For earning top honors, the Camp Stanley BOSS Program will receive the BOSS council's engraved traveling trophy; 100 2013 Best of the Best BOSS lapel pins; IMCOM Pacific BOSS Pens and Cinch Sacks; a jumbo banner that reads: 2013 Best BOSS Program.
"The BOSS program is one of those things that we can do and do well," said IMCOM Pacific Region Director Debra D. Zedalis during the award presentation. "It gives Soldiers a sense of being a part of something. All those things you all have done make a difference in the lives of Soldiers as well as in the lives of those you help through community service such as the soup kitchen," said Zedalis. "Well done!"