Soldiers build unity through BOSS

Soldiers from across Fort Carson ride horses as part of a Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers event at Estes Park, Oct 14.

Story and photo by Spc. Nathan Thome

4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office

Soldiers on Fort Carson have the opportunity to participate in a program tailored specifically for the needs of single Soldiers, geographical bachelors and single parents; Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers.

“BOSS is a great opportunity for Soldiers,” said Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Steven O. Green. “It gets them out of their barracks, and gives them the chance to interact with other single Soldiers that they wouldn’t otherwise meet.

“They also get to participate in fun and exciting events, as well as community activities, which sends a positive outlook to the community,” Green said.

For 22 years, BOSS has provided Soldiers the chance to create a stronger bond with their fellow warriors through a variety of recreational and volunteer opportunities.

“BOSS was created through (the Army Family Action Plan) in 1989, and then expanded to include all aspects of Soldiers’ lives. It was designed for single and unaccompanied Soldiers and is used to improve their quality of life,” said Cpl. Rachael Robertson, BOSS president, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Carson.

A variety of recreational activities are held a few times a month for Soldiers, to include horseback riding, bowling nights and haunted houses.

“Events are chosen by the suggestions Soldiers give their representatives the fiscal year prior,” said Robertson. “So, the single Soldiers are the ones who decide what events BOSS does.”

Soldiers also get involved with the community by volunteering. BOSS and its volunteers have participated in events such as Walk Now for Autism Speaks, by helping with set up and tear down, and cleaning up Fort Carson during Make-A-Difference Day.

“Soldiers can get involved with the program by talking to their BOSS representatives,” said Robertson. “They can come up with ideas for events or voice concerns, which are brought up at our bimonthly meetings.”

Seventy-eight Army posts, both overseas and stateside, have a BOSS program, but every program has its strengths and weaknesses, said Spc. Elizabeth Erickson, BOSS vice president and orderly room clerk, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Special Troops battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.

Erickson was involved with the program when she was stationed in Korea. Soldiers made their own Family through the program, because they don’t always have the opportunity to go home every weekend, or even go on leave, said Erickson. People were willing to go out with a group of people they don’t know, and end up forming strong bonds and friendships, she said.

“I want to take certain aspects of the program that I learned in Korea and apply them to the program here, so we can get more Soldiers who want to get involved in BOSS,” Erickson said. “The program is definitely a morale booster for Soldiers, because we can take the stresses that we have as an everyday Soldier and put them on the back burner, let loose and have fun and enjoy ourselves.”

Activities planned in November include indoor paintball and Jump Street, an indoor trampoline park. Soldiers can participate in the next BOSS volunteer event by signing up to help with the Turkey Trot, a five-kilometer fun run at Iron Horse Park, Saturday, at 8:15 a.m.

For more information about BOSS, call 524-BOSS (2677) or visit the Fort Carson BOSS website at http://www. mwrfortcarson.com/what-is-boss.php or its Facebook page at http://www. facebook.com/FortCarsonBOSS?ref=ts&fref=ts. Text “follow CarsonBOSS” to 40404 to receive updates and event information. BOSS meetings are held the first and third Thursday of each month from 2-3:30 p.m. at The Foxhole.

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