By Sgt. Kelsey Simmons | 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office
FORT CARSON, Colo. — Across many U.S. Army installations, single Soldiers under the rank of staff sergeant are assigned to stay in the barracks. Some spend their weekends playing video games, never leaving their room. Soldiers can attend enriching events arranged by the Better Opportunities for Singles Soldiers (BOSS) program to combat this sedentary lifestyle and make life more aspirational and fulfilling.
BOSS is an Armywide program whose mission is to enhance the morale and welfare of single Soldiers, increase retention and sustain combat readiness.
“The BOSS program is intended to support the overall quality of life for single Soldiers and helps maintain and improve Soldier readiness,” said Gia Gillotte-Taylor, the Fort Carson BOSS program administrator. “This is done by offering many different events, activities and classes within all pillars of the program.”
The four pillars of the BOSS program are leisure activities, community work, life skills and quality of life.
“The program aims to build character through various initiatives,” said PFC Emil Smochina, the Fort Carson BOSS program secretary. “We seamlessly change the dynamics of how the Army works as a whole through the voice of our Soldiers.”
Coordinating with other installation programs such as the Outdoor Recreation Center or Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, BOSS hosts several activities for Soldiers to experience each month.
Recent Fort Carson BOSS events included community service activities like volunteering at the local zoo or Habitat for Humanity, life skills classes covering auto skills, cooking and healthy relationships; and recreational leisure activities such as holiday parties and local sports games and snowboarding trips.
“BOSS offers a wide variety of experience and support for those Soldiers new to the Army or the installation,” Gillotte-Taylor said. “The program helps get Soldiers out of the barracks and introduces them to new or recurring activities and people. Camaraderie and new friendships are the takeaways from BOSS events.”
Joshua Scott, a guide with the Fort Carson Outdoor Recreation Center, said he believes cohesion between Soldiers is a considerable part of the Army’s success. The BOSS program plays a significant role in building cohesive teams and friendships.
“Trusting your battle buddy while doing an activity like ice climbing, where your life is literally in their hands, can change a person’s perspective on what friendship and camaraderie truly are,” Scott said.
Gillotte-Taylor also believes the program supports single Soldiers experiencing hard times and helps deter them from harmful behaviors.
“When I first joined the Army, I wasn’t in the best headspace,” Scott said. “Going outside, getting out and doing things with friends, and having fun outdoors was absolutely paramount for my mental health.
I’ve seen how other Soldiers’ attitudes and perspectives on life have changed just by getting out and doing things that are recreational and therapeutic.”
Contact a brigade BOSS representative at your respective installation if you are interested in seeing the calendar of upcoming events and signing up for a fun time with future lifelong friends. Fort Carson Soldiers may also visit the Fort Carson Hub for more information.