By Scott PraterMountaineer staffFORT CARSON, Colo. — When Cpl. Devon Douglas first enlisted five years ago, he never envisioned that one day he would find himself leading an Army program that improves the lives of fellow Soldiers. He joined up in 2015 just hoping to make a career for himself.“One thing just led to another and here I am,” said the president of the Fort Carson Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) program.Douglas enlisted as a motor transport operator and drove trucks for the first year of his first assignment in Korea. While in Korea, he visited the Camp Casey BOSS program and became one of its program councilors. When the BOSS president at the time readied to change duty stations, she told Douglas she thought he would make a good president.After taking over the position a short time later, Douglas said he realized his future in the Army.“I interviewed for the job and they hired me,” he said. “Being just a (private first class), I was shocked. But we made things work there. We helped at an orphanage, we did English as a second language classes, did community events and the program sort of took off.”Once his time at Camp Casey ended, Douglas changed duty stations to Fort Polk, Louisiana, where he once again headed up the BOSS program. That was where he caught the eye of Army leaders.“I was attending a BOSS conference in 2018, when the organizers asked me to stand up and say a few words. Of course, I didn’t have a whole lot of experience at public speaking. I was nervous, and really, I didn’t think I did a very good job.So, I was very surprised when people approached me afterward and asked about the program I managed at Fort Polk.”One of those who approached was Command Sgt. Maj. Kenyatta L. Mack, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Carson, senior enlisted leader.“Command Sgt. Maj. Mack said I was exactly the type of person he was looking for to lead the BOSS program at Fort Carson, Douglas said. “And, growing up out East, I’d never been to Colorado, so I jumped at the chance to come here when the opportunity arose.”Upon meeting Douglas, it’s hard not to notice his energetic and infectious personality. When he arrived last June, many could tell right away that the BOSS program at the Mountain Post was soon headed in a different direction.“As I went around the installation and began talking with leaders and Soldiers, the biggest thing I learned was that most people thought BOSS was just the ‘NO DUI’ program,” he said.The NO DUI initiative can be a valuable and useful program that assists Soldiers who don’t want to risk driving after they have consumed alcohol, but Douglas said his first task as BOSS president here was to widen the program’s scope and engage more Soldiers.“I think the big thing here is we want to help our Soldiers, especially our first-term Soldiers, who have moved away from home for the first time and are looking to make friends,” Douglas said.He soon added some varied recreation activities to the BOSS offerings, like horseback riding, zip lining and skeet shooting. Meanwhile, he also added some volunteer activities for Soldiers who wanted to make a difference in the community, like serving and preparing meals at the Springs Rescue Mission soup kitchen, or building affordable housing for low income residents through Habitat for Humanity.While providing activities for single Soldiers, Douglas and his council of BOSS volunteers also see one of their key goals to be assisting Soldiers in their daily lives and Army careers. The BOSS program began offering what Douglas described as life skills classes.“Life skills are just that,” he said. “Cooking is one of my passions, and when I thought about it, learning to cook and prepare meals is a skill that can be learned, so we started offering cooking classes.As the program grew, Douglas and crew began finding Soldiers who wanted to help other Soldiers by volunteering their time and experience.“We found some NCOs who told us they could teach Soldiers how to perform better at their promotion boards,” Douglas said. “Now, our volunteer instructors are showing Soldiers how to study and prepare for those boards that can be so crucial to a Soldier’s life. They’re even teaching and mentoring on the proper etiquette for going before a promotion board. And, BOSS offers that Study Board instruction every Thursday at 5 p.m.”Sgt. 1st Class Terrance Lane, communications sergeant, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, volunteers a couple of hours each week.“I help anyone who comes to the study board to learn general military education information, and I provide some tips to help them pass their boards,” Lane said. “I really enjoy it and it allows me to pass on some knowledge and experience from my military career.”Douglas’ leadership hasn’t gone unnoticed. Army leaders thought so much of his skills that they named him Installation Management Command readiness BOSS president, which means he oversees BOSS programs at 16 Army installations, provides program advice, inspects operations and informs staff of recent Army guidance.“I try to visit all of the BOSS programs at least once a year to pass on information from the big Army leadership about changes they want to see or qualify of life initiatives they want to promote,” Douglas said. “One of the aspects I find most important for a successful program is support from Army leadership at the garrison level. We have tremendous support here, for example, and now we’re continuing to see growth, not only in participation, but in the diversity of the opportunities we can provide.”The Fort Carson BOSS program information can be found at https://www.carson.army.mil, on the program’s Facebook page at Fort Carson BOSS or by calling 338-0493.