By Pfc. Sonya McNair, 12th CAB Public Affairs OfficeJuly 22, 2009
ANSBACH, Germany -- Stepping inside the new Better Opportunity for Single Soldiers Club at Katterbach Army Airfield was quite a surprise to many Soldiers stationed here.
It was not exactly what most were expecting as the neon blue lights danced off the black marble tabletops and dark wood of the DJ station. The theater room was like stepping into a private Hollywood mansion theater and the multiple widescreens TVs for X-box sessions were like a dream in comparison, not to mention a entire room set aside for table gaming tournaments.
"I think it's pretty cool and way more than I thought," said Pfc. William Germain, an avionics repairer with Bravo Company, 412th Aviation Support Battalion. "I was not expecting to see all the neon lights and the DJ."
There have been initiatives throughout the years in the BOSS program, said Kelly Nebel, director of the community recreational division for U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
"I think more recently we have had more emphasis on the (Army Family Covenant), and at the same time we wanted ... to also showcase the importance of our single Soldiers," she said.
Nebel supervises BOSS among many other programs within the division. She added her BOSS coordinator and head of special events, Jenny Sullivan, and BOSS president, Sgt. Daniel P. Bullock, are major assets to the team.
"Jenny has been working very diligently along with Sgt. Bullock and they have done a fantastic job. I could not be more pleased," said Nebel. "They have made a great team for this effort. I believe we probably got the best BOSS coordinator and BOSS president, as well as the best BOSS facility in the Army."
"This is just stage one. There is another stage in progress for developing the backyard area with more sports activities, including volleyball courts. There might be an outdoor stage and of course we will have a cooking and grilling area," she said.
From the very beginning in terms of development plans, the expansion and improvement proposals for the BOSS facility has been a part of the overall planning for a couple years, said Nebel.
"Overall, as we move forward we are trying to keep a good balance between programs for families and single Soldiers so that everyone has a place to call home," she said.
Creating the new center enjoyed huge support from both the garrison and 12th CAB command groups, said Nebel.
"They have all been involved from the start and very much an active component of this program," she said.
On the MWR side, Dan Riley, in charge of the entire directorate of FMWR, and Laura Waid with business operations, were also key figures in this project, said Nebel.
"The total support of everyone, especially the Soldiers and volunteers, was a community effort," she added.
Special guest at the grand opening was Diane Devens, director of Installation Management Command-Europe.
"She oversees all the garrisons in Europe and anything that is being developed she has an interest," said Nebel. "She is the one who helps us get the financial support to make these things happen by working with the Department of the Army, IMCOM, and FMWRC. She was very impressed with what she saw here at the new BOSS facility."
"Without a tight team our program would crumble and without the support of the command I have seen what happens to BOSS programs - they are nonexistent," said Bullock. "BOSS is looked at very highly on this post. I have never seen a BOSS program in the 11 years I have been in the Army that has as much support as this one. I feel very fortunate to be the president of this organization."
The new BOSS Club will feature events such as football games, holiday parties, salsa nights, bike nights, Texas Hold 'Em Tournaments, X-box tournaments, cookouts and more, said Sullivan.
"The BOSS Soldiers now have a place to call home," added Sullivan. "They have really taken ownership of it and many Soldiers have been calling to offer assistance in future events. Soldiers can come and relax, play video games, watch movies, or play pool.
Plus, "They can also come for events with a club atmosphere that compares with any club downtown. Hopefully this will offer Soldiers a place to hang out, watch American TV and movies, socialize and refrain from drinking and driving," she said.
"We really want to show the rest of the Army what this little community in Ansbach has to offer when it comes to the BOSS program," said Bullock. "We want to set the example and lead the way.