CHIÈVRES, Belgium -- Service members returned from the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers, or BOSS, training in Grafenwöhr, Germany, with new ideas to strengthen the quality of life for fellow service members in U.S. Army Garrison Benelux.

BOSS, a program ran by U.S. Army Installation Management Command's Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, is designed to enhance the morale and welfare of single service members and geographical bachelors. The program has three core components -- quality of life, recreation and leisure, and community service.

"The main function of BOSS is to be a voice for the single service members," said Army Sgt. Brandon Nolen, BOSS president for USAG Benelux.

During the training, Nolen was joined by other Benelux representatives including vice presidents Army Sgt. Quintin Glatt and Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Daphne Gilles in addition to Shawna Morton, Family and MWR civilian advisor, and Command Sgt. Maj. Samara L. Pitre, senior enlisted advisor and garrison command sergeant major.

With an emphasis on peer-to-peer leadership, the Benelux team worked alongside BOSS representatives from other garrisons in Europe. They participated in different activities, which relate to the program's core components, such as cooking competitions, brainstorming sessions and recreational activities.

"We learned how to work together as a team. Coming into it, we had five days to get to know each other, and we all became friends," said Nolen. "It became a cohesive network. We basically learned everything together such as what programs are working well and what programs need improvement [at our garrisons]."

Nolen added that the BOSS program is focused on developing life skills events. The intention is for program participants to gain new skills that they can carry beyond their military careers. In the Benelux, BOSS will host automotive care courses in Brussels and Chièvres in August (see event dates on the right). BOSS will also have a team for the Strong Viking: Water Edition event Sept. 1 near Ghent, Belgium.

In addition to events, BOSS has other functions such as coordinating volunteer opportunities in the local community and being a voice for single service members on quality of life issues.

Nolen said that there are different ways to get involved with BOSS. He encouraged service members to attend council meetings which occur each fourth Thursday of the month from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The meetings are held at SHAPE Bldg. 318 in the Army Community Service conference room and are projected VTC to Brussels and Schinnen members.

"We are in one of the most historically predominant areas of the world. We want people to get out and experience things here in Europe," said Nolen. "The more people we have to propose ideas, that's where we can start putting together events and activities that we know people want to do."

For more information about the BOSS program, email usarmy.benelux.id-europe.mbx.boss-program@mail.mil or visit https://www.benelux.armymwr.com.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Life Skills: Basic Automotive Maintenance and Repair Class

Aug. 13: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Brussels Auto Skills Center
Aug. 14: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Chièvres Auto Skills Center

Kayaking Trip in Ghent, Belgium

Aug. 18

Life Skills: Basic Automotive Paint Care Class

Aug. 20: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Brussels Auto Skills Center
Aug. 21: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Chièvres Auto Skills Center

Life Skills: Strong Viking: Water Edition 13K

Sept. 1

BOSS Council Meetings
Every fourth Thursday of the month from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at SHAPE Bldg. 318 in ACS Conference Room (VTC projected to Schinnen and Brussels members)