By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterFebruary 28, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (February 28, 2013) -- In today's military, so many programs focus on catering to military Families that single Soldiers may sometimes feel left out, but one program looks to make sure those Soldiers feel involved while providing an opportunity for them to develop into future leaders.
Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers is a program for single Soldiers, geographical bachelors and single parents that is designed to improve their quality of life through community service and recreational events, according to Spc. Doris Johnson, installation BOSS president.
"It's important to help build morale with the Soldiers and let them know that they have somebody," said Johnson. "Most single Soldiers are left out simply because they don't have their Families around them, so we are each other's immediate Family."
There are no fees to join BOSS and the program is based on participation only, and keeping Soldiers in an environment where they can maintain their military bearing is one of the main purposes of BOSS, said Johnson.
"Our three pillars are community service, recreation and quality of life," she said. "We go around with the purpose to improve the lives of single Soldiers in all aspects of their lives to promote success."
The organization hosts events that might include going on cruises, taking trips or even participating in Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation events that are held on the installation.
Some upcoming events that Soldiers can participate in are: volunteering at Girls Night Out March 1; volunteering with the Children's Festival and Family Fun Run March 23; the March Madness Sweet 16 Party at the BOSS facility March 24; and a four-day trip to Atlanta April 6-9.
"The March Madness Sweet 16 Party is a free event that people can come out to and watch basketball at the BOSS facility and cook out with us," she said. "The Atlanta trip, however, is $200 per person, which will include lodging, and Atlanta city pass and transportation."
As much as BOSS is a program designed to give back to single Soldiers, it's also an opportunity for single Soldiers to give back to other organizations.
"Anywhere we get an opportunity to volunteer and help out, we're more than willing to help," said Johnson. "We help with Army Community Service, help with school events by painting at the schools, we read to students, and we even go out to animal shelters and help groom the animals. We have another event with the Survivor Outreach Services and Hearts Apart where we take the children that are part of those programs fishing and have a barbeque."
Johnson said that volunteering with BOSS is a good way for any Soldier, not just single Soldiers, to get their volunteering hours up.
"One of the biggest incentives with the volunteering program is that it gives [Soldiers] an opportunity to earn their volunteer service medal," she said. "We try to encourage a lot of people to do so because it says a lot when you're willing to give up your time for somebody else.
"It not only betters the community, but motivates single Soldiers to lead, be unit representatives or counselor members," she continued. "BOSS just helps them in becoming better Soldiers."
BOSS not only tries to improve the quality of life of Soldiers through recreational activities and volunteering programs, but also by providing facilities that Soldiers can gather and be social in on the installation.
"We recently renovated the BOSS facility, which has a theater room with leveled seating, computer access with WiFi, a gaming center that Soldiers can play on different gaming systems, new TVs, a full kitchen and pool tables," said Johnson. "We made the building a more welcome place for Soldiers to come and hang out."
Johnson said there are plans to build an additional BOSS facility somewhere on the installation, but only revealed that it would be similar to the current facility.
"We want to open another facility like the one we already have," she said. "It's not going to be exactly the same, but it's going to be similar, and the [Department of the Army] BOSS is going to help us do that in the future."
If Soldiers wish to get involved with BOSS, Johnson said that they can go see their unit representative. If they don't know who their unit representative is, they can visit her in Bldg. 5700, Rm. 385, or call 255-9284.