By: Spc. Matthew Marcellus / USAG-Humphreys Public Affairs Office
CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea - For many single and unaccompanied Soldiers at Humphreys, the prospect of being an ocean apart from friends and family can feel overwhelming and isolating, at first. However, the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) program here helps ensure that these Soldiers have ready and ample access to events and activities specifically designed to help build community, morale and friendship.
The BOSS team operates and develops their initiatives under the guiding mission of their three pillars: recreation and leisure, community service and quality of life. These help ensure that Soldiers maintain a high level of morale and can participate in unique activities.
“Going out and volunteering or attending one of our events allows you to have the opportunity to talk with other Soldiers that you wouldn’t get to meet on a regular basis, so it greatly improves the likelihood of leaving with friends,” said Spc. Ian Holmes, the Humphreys BOSS President and a CH-47 helicopter repairer, assigned to Installation Management Command. “It is about getting to have unique experiences here on Humphreys that are not your everyday job. You get to experience something a little more unique that maybe you did not expect to see when you got here to Korea.”
The BOSS program organizes and hosts a wide range of activities, including volunteer events, friendly competitions, knowledge and awareness events, leisure activities and trips off-post designed to promote new interests and areas away from the barracks.
“Our mission and priority really is to get everyone out of the barracks,” said Holmes. “We want to provide you (Soldiers) with new experiences and new opportunities so that every weekend you are not just going to your room. Even when we were on COVID-19 restrictions and were locked down on post, we still had pool tournaments, we had library cleaning, and we had events to pull you out to come socialize with people outside of your unit and to get you outside of your barracks.”
To help support the surrounding community, the BOSS program organizes and hosts volunteer events that help Soldiers assist and give back to our local neighbors. One such volunteer event is the Ville Cleanup, typically held every other Saturday, which is dedicated to helping clean the streets of Anjeong-ri, the community immediately outside Humphreys’ pedestrian gate.
“For our Ville Cleanup, we walk up and down the streets of Anjeong-ri and we pick up trash,” said Holmes. “This helps us not only as a post by maintaining a cleaner environment, but it also strengthens our alliance with our host nation by keeping the area clean.”
Additionally, the BOSS program is currently hosting their Inclusion Cup, a yearlong brigade-level event spanning the fiscal year 2021, in which brigades from across Humphreys compete in various monthly friendly competitions designed to promote cooperation, inclusiveness, diversity and fun.
“Our Inclusion Cup event is a way to boost morale here on Humphreys through the promotion of inclusivity,” said Holmes. “The competition encourages Soldiers to get out there and support their brigade during either mass-volunteer opportunities or team opportunities. It’s such a great morale booster and it’s something that those Soldiers who are on a team can take away from Humphreys, that they left that behind and won a competition for their brigade all while meeting new people and being a part of a bigger team.”
The BOSS team is looking forward to developing new, informative and exciting events for the future, organizing key Army initiatives that support a safe and respectful atmosphere. One such event being organized is the BOSS Sexual Assault and Awareness Prevention Week, bringing together numerous activities, panels and events from April 26 through April 29, to support the Army’s Sexual Harassment Assault Response Prevention (SHARP) program.
“We are planning on hosting a Sexual Assault and Awareness Prevention Week to disseminate as much SHARP knowledge as possible and spread awareness throughout Humphreys,” said Holmes. “Our main goal with this week is to allow everyone to ask and submit questions regarding the Fort Hood Report and SHARP. If you don’t want to publicly ask your question, we will ask it for you.”
The BOSS team here at Humphreys is always willing to adapt and evolve its event planning to suit the needs of the single and unaccompanied Soldier community here and is always ready to field new ideas for events and trips from Soldiers.
“If you have anything that you would like to see from BOSS, we are more than willing to listen and try to make those events happen,” said Holmes. “Whether it’s a location that you want to travel to or an event you would like to participate in, contact us and we can see if it can be facilitated.”
Reaching out to the Humphreys BOSS team and participating in their events is as easy as interacting with their Facebook page, reaching out to your designated company, battalion or brigade level BOSS representatives, or simply by dropping by the Garrison BOSS team’s office in the Downtown Recreation Center. The Humphreys BOSS team’s Facebook can be found at www.facebook.com/HumphreysBOSS.
“We want to ensure that this is a duty station that you want to be a part of,” said Holmes. “Our mission really is to help morale stay up and provide unique opportunities here. We want you to be able to understand and enjoy Korea, because this is a really unique duty station.”