FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Sept. 20, 2017) - - Teams of America's rugged professionals -- U.S. Army Soldiers from around the world -- have come to San Antonio for two weeks in September to determine who best represents readiness, fitness, and resilience.

Five teams of six Soldiers will compete in the finale of the BOSS Strong Championship on Sept. 24 at Retama Park, which features an obstacle course designed to test each competitor's strength and endurance.

BOSS refers to Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers, an Army program designed to increase exposure to educational, social, recreational, and artistic activities by unaccompanied military members at Army garrisons around the world.

The goal of the competition, anticipated to be an annual event, is to increase Soldiers' awareness of the most modern ways to increase functional fitness, and to highlight the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) programs and facilities available on Army bases for Soldiers to use in their personal workout programs.

The Army has employed coaches and advisors so that each team is best equipped to compete at the highest level. Soldiers from the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program, stationed in Fort Carson, Colorado, and experienced in TSET (Total Soldier Enhancement Training) were brought in to serve as assistant coaches and trainers in various events, such as swimming, equestrian and combative training. Outside coaches, led by Bennie Wylie, winner of Season One of the NBC television's "Strong" series, have embedded with each team to help them achieve their maximum potential.

The Army is exploring the concept of functional fitness, so they can combine methods with the right training and recreation facilities, to achieve the maximum benefit to the Soldier as they prepare for the fight down range. Soldiers are referred to as the "rugged professional" as they should be ready and equipped to live and fight in austere and even primitive surroundings. This competition focuses on five healthy aspects of Army life: physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being.

During the two-week event, the Army has been recording each team's progress for delayed broadcast on the U.S. Department of Defense News website and other online platforms. The web series will tell the story of the contestants and follow the teams as they progress through the competition.

The competition during the final day of the BOSS Strong Championship is open to the public. The teams of Soldiers will begin their obstacle course run starting 2:30 p.m. followed by a concert performance by country artist Natalie Stovall. Closing ceremonies are scheduled to begin 6:15 p.m.

The competition is sponsored by Cerasport Rice-based Electrolyte Drink, Trigger Point Performance Therapy, Global Promotional Sales and Breezer Mobile Cooling.