BOSS helps Soldiers learn, cope, adapt

By Scott Prater, Fort Carson Public Affairs OfficeAugust 12, 2022

BOSS helps Soldiers learn, cope, adapt
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – FORT CARSON, Colo. — Fort Carson’s Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) partnered with Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s Outdoor Recreation to teach #Soldiers rock climbing skills during a BOSS class this summer. (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL
BOSS helps Soldiers learn, cope, adapt
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – FORT CARSON, Colo. — Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) students learn auto repair and maintenance techniques during a class at the Auto Skills Center in January. (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL
BOSS helps Soldiers learn, cope, adapt
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – FORT CARSON, Colo. — Fort Carson’s Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) learn culinary tips-and-tricks during a BOSS-sponsored cooking class on post this summer. (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT CARSON, Colo. — A group of young, single #Soldiers recently returned from a weekend camping trip. The weekend before, they rafted through Arkansas river canyons. Last winter, they snowboarded down some of Colorado’s most scenic ski slopes.

Those are the scenarios many people envision when they think of Fort Carson’s Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers activities — social events, fun and games and a lot of lounging. What people don’t realize, however, is that those same Soldiers are also learning valuable skills through the BOSS program.

The #U.S.Army-wide program held three main pillars of focus prior to 2016: quality of life, recreation and leisure and community service. But in 2016, the office of the secretary of Defense added a fourth pillar to the organization’s mission — life skills. It may seem like a trivial addition, but it’s a crucial one, according to Staff Sgt. Gover Y Hurtado.

Hurtado, a single father, began participating in BOSS activities a few years ago and was so impressed with the program that he sought out a leadership position in the organization. He took over as Fort Carson’s BOSS president this past April and now strives to help produce more impactful programming.

“The problem for some Soldiers is they don’t have a sense of belonging over the weekends,” he said. “Take for example, the Soldier who works Monday through Friday and has some trouble adapting to military life. On the weekends, he or she may go back to their room and question their career decision. The Army is not what they expected. They thought they wanted to be a Soldier, but now, they doubt themselves. Well, we work to make sure these service members don’t go that route. We want them to come to us, decompress, socialize, connect; learn more about Colorado and the local area.”

He explained that BOSS staff and participants strive to help their fellow Soldiers avoid feelings of isolation, loneliness and depression.

“It’s important because when Monday comes, that service member can go back to their unit ready to work because, over the weekend, they got distracted … in a healthy way,” he said.

Similarly, the program’s life-skills focus helps Soldiers learn valuable new abilities. Fort Carson BOSS program administrator, Gia Gillote-Taylor, said the program partners with on-post organizations like Army Community Service, to offer classes in finance, while it also partners with Fort Carson’s Auto Skills Center to provide instruction in car maintenance and repair.

“We’ve partnered with a local culinary organization and now offer cooking classes, specifically tailored to single Soldiers,” she said. “We also have a military family life consultant who teaches a variety of classes on relationships, coping strategies and other resiliency type concepts.”

Even when it comes to the recreational aspect of the program, leaders strive to keep Soldiers #AlwaysReady by including a learning aspect to their activities. BOSS Soldiers have learned to open water scuba dive, for instance. They’ll conduct classroom work at the HUB, use the Ivy Fitness Center pool for training, then take a trip down to New Mexico to earn their open water scuba certifications.

“Learning life skills is crucial,” Hurtado said. “Let’s say, for example, that a Soldier plans on making the Army a career, but then changes his mind after four years. They can learn these life skills through BOSS and be better prepared for civilian life. In my case, I didn’t know how fun working on cars was until I took the car-repair class through BOSS at the Auto Skills Center. Now, it’s a real passion for me and I could possibly pursue a career in auto mechanics.”

To learn more about BOSS programs and activities, call 719-524-0126 or visit, click the recreation tab and select BOSS.