FORT JACKSON, SC -- Some of Fort Jackson's single sergeants soon may be moving out of the barracks.

Noncommissioned officers in the rank of E5 with promotable status now have the option to live on or off post.

"This is a huge step for Fort Jackson," said Sgt. Arnita Miles, president of Fort Jackson's Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers.

Miles made the announcement during a single Soldier town hall meeting Tuesday night at the Single Soldier Complex Community Building.

BOSS collaborated with housing officials and garrison leadership to come to a partial resolution for single Soldiers who, during a town hall meeting in July, had asked if they could move out of mandated living quarters and into more "apartment-style" accommodations, Miles said.

The housing request could only be granted to E5 promotable NCOs because, according to Army regulation, 95 percent of an installation's billeting space must be in use before single Soldiers in the ranks of E5 and lower can be authorized Basic Allowance for Housing.

"Right now, we are about 84 or 85 percent," said Emma Watson, Residential Communities Initiative director.

"When you see other, larger installations that already allow their E5s to go off post, that's because they have an inventory that does not meet demand," Watson said.

With about 928 single Soldiers living in barracks, Fort Jackson is considered to have a small single Soldier population compared to other Army installations, Miles said.

The resolution may not oblige every single Soldier, but it's a start in the right direction, Watson said.

The housing office streamlined the process so E5 promotable NCOs don't have to go through their chains of command to make the move. All the sergeants need to do is go to the housing office with a request form and a copy of their Enlisted Record Brief verifying promotable status.

The turnaround time is two to three days, Watson said.

Cheers and claps could be heard among the more than 50 Soldiers who attended the meeting.

"We really fought for this," Miles said. "Because of the support of the BOSS program, our Soldiers were heard on this issue and we were able to move forward."

Miles encouraged her fellow single Soldiers to continue to voice their concerns regarding any issues that envelop the three pillars of the BOSS program: quality of life, community service, and recreation and leisure.

"Anytime you have an issue and you feel like you need to be heard, bring it to BOSS and we can take action," Miles said.

Additional briefings during the meeting covered topics such as financial readiness; Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs and upcoming events; and safety procedures in the barracks and around post.

For more information regarding any of the topics discussed at the town hall meeting, contact Miles at 751-1148.