By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterDecember 21, 2017
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Taking care of Soldiers and families is a major focus for the Army, and Fort Rucker is making sure its single Soldiers aren't left out when it comes to quality-of-life improvements.
The Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers facility reopened during a ceremony Dec. 13 after major renovations to offer a place single Soldiers can come together, mingle and have some fun on the installation, according to Aida Stallings, Directorate of Family, and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sponsorship and advertising manager.
"Everything we do in the BOSS program is for a better quality of life for these Soldiers," said Stallings. "They're away from home, some are by themselves just getting here, and this facility gives them all a chance to get together, get to know each other, mingle and see what they have in common -- it's all about getting them together and socializing and benefitting from each other's experience."
The facility, which initially opened in 2012, underwent a $20,000 renovation that included new carpeting, new furniture, new gaming systems, new TVs, new appliances, new cookware and a revamped theater room -- all catered to the single Soldier. The facility also houses a new air hockey table, foosball table, dart board and newly covered pool table.
Col. Brian E. Walsh, Fort Rucker garrison commander, William G. Kidd, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker deputy to the commanding general, and Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher D. Spivey, Fort Rucker garrison command sergeant major, were among those on hand to cut the ribbon to the newly renovated facility.
"To you single Soldiers, this building is (yours) -- this building is not mine, it's not Mr. Kidd's, it's not USAACE's -- it belongs to the single Soldiers," said Spivey.
The facility's theater room, which received new carpet, also received renovated seating to provide a more stadium-style arrangement while Soldiers enjoy a theater-type experience.
Additional security was also installed to ensure the safety of all the Soldiers and the equipment in the facility.
One of the big driving forces behind the renovation was to continue to serve single Soldiers in the Army, said Teresa Whitman-McCall, recreational delivery system program manager, and provide them a facility where they can gather, which is essential to their quality of life.
"If you live in the barracks, you don't have a stove or a big fridge, so (Soldiers) can come in and put their stuff in the fridge with their names on it," she said. "They can come in here and cook a real meal. A lot of times when you come in here, there will be three or four of them in here and they'll cook a pot of spaghetti or something and share with each other -- they get something that's more like home.
"This gives them a chance to come in and have a relaxed atmosphere, spread out a little bit and let them get away from their roommate for a few hours -- this is a great (escape)," said the RDS program manager. "We just hope that all the single Soldiers will utilize the facility -- it's here for them. The BOSS program is a great program that brings people together who have the same common interest, and they can bond with an extra friend out there who understands what they're going through as a single Soldier."