FORT CAVAZOS, Texas — What began as an initiative to respond to the recreational needs of single service members nearly 35 years ago, has matured into a robust program that has become an integral aspect of today’s Army.
The Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program was established within the U.S. Army Community and Family Support Center, the precursor agency to the Directorate for Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, in 1989.
Soldiers voiced their recommendations through focus groups and in 1991, the Army Chief of Staff formally expanded the BOSS program to enhance the overall quality of life for single Soldiers and include community service and volunteer activities. These facets came to represent the core components, or “pillars” of the BOSS program.
In the more than three decades since it began, BOSS has expanded to accommodate a more advanced fighting force, said Fort Cavazos BOSS President Sgt. Jasmine Tcha.
“The BOSS program has greatly improved since its inception 35 years ago,” she said. “There are changes in the way Soldiers are able to plan and execute events. This comes with incoming single Soldiers. As the generations come, the program modernizes with them.”
Tcha explained that what makes the Fort Cavazos’ BOSS program unique is the focus on various units within the program.
“Not only do we feature (our units) with a photo, but we also allow their unit BOSS representatives to take charge of one event that month,” she explained. “This makes our program stand out because we involve the units with the program to ensure their support (with) the single Soldiers. We are the only installation doing this. Other installations really like the idea, and we hope to set the standard across the board.”
The program’s efforts seem to be paying off as the Fort Cavazos BOSS program recently placed first in the Army-wide BOSS in a Box competition.
The annual competition invites BOSS programs from all over the world to best describe their program “in a box.”
Garrisons worldwide were tasked by Installation Management Command to present a display board that represented all three pillars of the BOSS program (Quality of Life, Community Service and Recreation & Leisure), and one stand-alone pillar, Life Skills.
To represent these pillars, Fort Cavazos featured storyboards with pictures and descriptions of events conducted over the past year as well as their continuity books so that other garrisons could see what Fort Cavazos has been doing over the past year.
The Soldiers got creative and went with a “Matrix” theme to showcase their display, explaining that choosing to enter the Matrix promotes a better life, just like being involved with the BOSS program.
Tcha explained that the recognition illustrates commitment to the program and to Soldiers.
“This award speaks to how involved, engaged and loved the program is by our single Soldiers on Fort Cavazos,” she expressed. “It symbolizes that we care about our Soldiers, what they say and what they want to do.”
Neicey Davis, DFMWR BOSS advisor, agreed.
“The award won by the program shows how much our single Soldiers on Fort Cavazos care about the program and how involved they are,” she said.
Davis was presented the BOSS DMWR Advisor of the Year (Army-wide) Fetus Edwards Award For exceptional service, dedication and commitment to the BOSS program.
She attributed much of her success to the support of her leaders.
“When you have a strong command that cares so much for our single Soldiers, it makes my job easier,” Davis expressed.
Davis declared that the future of the BOSS program is limitless.
“The program is constantly improving,” she said. “With newer generations of Soldiers comes new ideas. The only limit to our program is the single Soldier’s imagination and will to make it happen.”
Tcha also gushed about the future of the program.
She explained that the program just started “BOSS Clubs,” a forum where Fort Cavazos single Soldiers can interact with other Soldiers that have common interests. There are also plans to start a “BOSS Podcast” that will feature single Soldiers discussing how they would like to improve the program.
“The program will continue to grow and evolve as more and more Soldiers are joining the program,” Tcha said. “There are so many new suggestions, improvements and ideas our program can channel into one voice.”
Single Soldiers, as well as geo bachelors/bachelorettes and single parents, are eligible to join BOSS.
Community service events are also open to married Soldiers. To get involved with the BOSS program, Soldiers can contact their unit BOSS representative, the Fort Cavazos BOSS president, at 254-287-6116 or stop by BOSS Headquarters, Bldg. 9212 on Old Ironsides Ave.