The Army recognized the Presidio of Monterey's Better Opportunity for Single Service members program as best in class for the second year running at the 30th annual BOSS conference in Indianapolis.
The program represented itself in July with a custom-designed clock. The hours of the clock were written in languages taught at the Defense Language Institute, while emblems from all five branches adorned the clock to represent the services residing at the Presidio.
Hugo Tena, civilian BOSS advisor, said what separated them from the pack in Indianapolis was an emphasis on life skills. He added that the Presidio BOSS program organized events from cooking classes to swim lessons, and almost everything in-between.
"When do you have time to learn a life skill on top of learning a language?" Tena asked, referring to the rigorous training most BOSS members receive at DLI. "We're able to get these programs to them for free."
Born in 1989, the Army established BOSS to give the single Soldier a voice. Today there are 74 programs across the Army, each emphasizing BOSS's three pillars: quality of life, community service, recreation and leisure. Tena said the Presidio program is one of eight to shed the word Soldier in BOSS for service member, and with a Marine as its president and an Airman as its vice president, it's pretty easy to see why.
"We incorporate every service into one, and we're open to everyone," said Airman 1st Class Nicholas Ward, Presidio BOSS vice president.
Lance Cpl. Anthony Varga, BOSS president, added the desires and needs of the never-ending stream of troops attending DLI keeps the program relevant.
"What's really special about our program; because we have a continuous flow of new ideas and new talent, the program stays fresh," Varga said.
That means a full docket of activities from video game tournaments and dodgeball tournaments to volunteer opportunities and social gatherings.
The program even incorporates service members with talents, like former professional dancers who teach contemporary dance classes through BOSS.
"We tried to do as much as possible to get out of [their rooms] because this can be a stressful environment," said Ward.
The council said the award is nice but they aren't resting on their laurels. With a massive masquerade ball in the works for Halloween and a Thanksgiving event for those not able to go home for the holiday, Ward and Varga plan to stay busy.
Tena simply called that dedication -- "Passion."