By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterOctober 15, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (Oct. 11, 2012) -- The Army focuses on improving the quality of life for Soldiers and families, and Fort Rucker wants to make sure that single Soldiers aren't excluded when it comes to quality-of-life improvements.
The new Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers, or BOSS, facility opened Oct. 5, to provide Soldiers with various recreational activities to do during their off-duty hours, according to Command Sgt. Maj. James H. Thomson Jr., Aviation Branch command sergeant major.
"We tend to focus a lot on families and we put a lot of resources into improving the quality of life for our families, but, in this case, we had an opportunity to spend close to $50,000 to improve the quality of life for our single Soldiers," he said.
The facility boasts a brand new theater room, improvements to furniture, new kitchen appliances, new video games and TVs, new gaming chairs, new computers, new carpet and new tiling, explained Spc. Doris Johnson, Fort Rucker BOSS president.
"The importance of this building is for the single Soldiers [on Fort Rucker] to have somewhere to go," she said. "We want to get them out of their barracks rooms and give them a place to hang out, watch TV, play video games or play pool -- offer a little bit of recreation."
Johnson said that the renovation of the facility was a good opportunity to keep single Soldiers out of trouble and build morale.
"As a Soldier, we don't get much down time, but when we do, we want to do the right thing at all times," she said. "When we have people looking out for each other, pushing them and pointing them in the right direction, and showing them something that's encouraging and not going out drinking or partying all the time -- that's what this facility does."
Pfc. Stephon Griffin, B. Co., 1st Battalion, 11th Aviation Regiment, came out to view the new facility and said that he was most impressed with the movie theater addition.
"I wasn't expecting it to be this good," he said. "The movie theater has been the most shocking thing. It's got the leather seats and they are very comfortable. I'll definitely be coming out here often."
Griffin added that he's glad that the Army realizes that things should be done for lower enlisted Soldiers and those that don't have families with them on the installation.
"It's important that the Army do this for lower enlisted Soldiers so that we feel loved," he said. "It makes us feel like we have something to do and something to look forward to after work -- I like it."
The new BOSS facility is only a portion of what BOSS does for single Soldiers on Fort Rucker, said Johnson. BOSS organizes trips for Soldiers to go on as well as encourages single Soldiers to become involved in community services that help the Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
"Please note all the great things that have been put in [the new facility] for our Soldiers -- for your Soldiers," said Command Sgt. Maj. Buford E. Noland, Fort Rucker garrison command sergeant major, at the ceremony. "It took a lot of work by a lot of people, and a considerable amount of money to make this the way it is."
The amount of time, money and work put into the facility is well worth the investment, according to Thomson.
"We want [the Soldiers] to spend their off-duty time in a positive environment doing the things they like to do," he said. "Our single Soldiers one day will be our future leaders, and we want them to have a positive experience, stay in our Army and return on this investment in the future."