VICENZA, Italy (May 4, 2018) - A "watch party" at the Warrior Zone on Caserma Del Din was the setting in which to announce the Vicenza BOSS Strong team as winners of the Armywide BOSS (Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers) Strong competition that took place in late 2017.

About 250 Soldiers and other community supporters gathered this afternoon to participate in festivities created to honor BOSS Vicenza and "Team Able," a team of six Soldiers who competed against the other four top teams in fitness and life skills challenges. That final portion of the competition took place in San Antonio. Each team's progress there was recorded and pulled together over eight episodes that look like a reality television show - the first episode premiering at today's party.

The highly anticipated announcement that BOSS Vicenza won the competition came just after 4 p.m., when Command Sgt. Maj. Melissa Judkins, command sergeant major for Installation Management Command - on hand for the party all the way from IMCOM Headquarters in Texas - made the announcement after the episode played. The team not only won a trophy that will be displayed at the U.S. Army Garrison Italy headquarters, they also earned $25,000 for the Vicenza BOSS program, money that will go directly into the program here.

The USAG Italy Garrison Commander, Col. Erik M. Berdy, accepted the trophy from the team, for the garrison.

"There is a lot more to this award than the physical piece," said Berdy. "It's about physical readiness, nutrition, health, taking care of yourself and more. They lived it and they learned a lot; they should be an example to all of you."

According to Sgt. Maj. Daniel Dennison, G-9 sergeant major, IMCOM, and previously the U.S. Army Garrison Italy command sergeant major, BOSS Strong is different from other Army competitions.

"The concept for BOSS Strong is to provide a holistic multi-discipline competition unlike any other competition across the Army. It gets after the triad of physiological, eating habits and healthy lifestyles of Soldiers and the comprehensive Soldier fitness aspects," said Dennison.

The goal of the competition, which is planned to take place every other year, is to increase Soldier awareness of the most modern ways to increase functional fitness, and to highlight Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs and facilities available on Army installations for Soldiers to use in their personal workout programs.

During the challenge, Soldiers participated in numerous MWR programs, earning points based on the team's performance. BOSS Strong highlights a new approach to functional fitness that also allows recovery time and teaches life skills, promoting healthy and more active lives.

According to Department of the Army BOSS Representative Staff Sgt. James Turner, "Soldiers learn levels of fitness that go beyond the normal Army physical readiness training. They are shown fitness that can be used in real-world combat situations where running, situps and pushups don't necessarily meet the standard."

Turner, also on hand at today's event, told the Soldiers in attendance that applications are now open for the next competition. Anyone interested should contact Vicenza BOSS president, Spc. Patricia Samples. The BOSS office is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the phone number is DSN 634-2712, comm. 0444-71-2712.

The BOSS Strong competition will air one at a time on a weekly basis, for eight weeks, on the Defense Television website and application, and the Family MWR YouTube page. The links are https://defensetv.com/#/video:586751/news-stream and http://www.youtube.com/user/FamilyMWR/videos.

BOSS is an Army program designed to increase exposure to educational, social, recreational, and artistic activities by single and unaccompanied military members at Army garrisons around the world.