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FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Single service members at Fort Leonard Wood seeking a family away from home, and a more positive and productive role in their community, have a place to turn — the Better Opportunities for Single Service members program.

According to Spc. Andrew Hixson, the current BOSS president here, the mission of the program is to enhance the morale and welfare of Fort Leonard Wood’s single service members, increasing retention and sustaining readiness in the process.

“My goal was to develop a community of people to help each other,” said Hixson, who began attending BOSS events here more than three years ago and was elected president in 2021.

Hixson said the program has three core components aimed at helping single service members in maintaining a balanced life: leisure and recreation, community service and quality of life.

“We try to connect service members here — Soldiers, but also the Airmen, Marines and Sailors, and foreign service members — with activities, events and volunteer opportunities in the Fort Leonard Wood community,” Hixson said.

In addition to providing chances to interact with other community-minded individuals, the BOSS program is also a great chance for service members to voice concerns and bring up quality-of-life issues with garrison leaders, Hixson added.

“There are BOSS representatives down to the company level,” Hixson said. “Everyone is encouraged to reach out.”

One of those representatives, Spc. Tyler Schwartz, from 2nd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment, called BOSS, “a family away from home.”

“The BOSS program has really given Soldiers a lot of opportunities to better our lives outside of work and keep morale up,” Schwartz said. “I have met nothing but great people in the organization, and we all look after each other whenever we can. We’ve got each other’s backs and it’s a great support system whenever we need a friend to talk to.”

Schwartz said delivering candy-grams around the post on Valentine’s Day was a recent highlight.

“It was awesome just seeing them smile and light up when they received their gifts,” he said.

Hixson said any single service member on Fort Leonard Wood — with the exception of trainees attending Basic Combat Training, Advanced Individual Training or One Station Unit Training — may participate in BOSS activities.

“It doesn’t matter what your rank is, as long as you fall under the category of single service member, you’re more than welcome to come out,” Hixson said.

Male and female service members considered “geographic bachelors” are also encouraged to participate, Hixson added.

“If you are here without your family and you’re looking for activities in the area, contact us,” he said.

The BOSS program is headquartered in Bldg. 496, at the corner of Constitution and Replacement avenues (across the street from Burger King). Call 573.563.5967, or email andrew.d.hixson.mil@army.mil for more information.