By Sgt. Kelsey Simmons | 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Bureau
FORT CARSON, CO — At many US Army installations, individual Soldiers with the rank of Staff Sergeant are designated to remain in barracks. Some spend their weekends playing video games without leaving their room. Soldiers can participate in enriching events organized by the Better Opportunities for Singles Soldiers (BOSS) program to combat this sedentary lifestyle and make life more ambitious and fulfilling.
BOSS is an Army-wide program designed to improve individual soldier morale and welfare, increase loyalty, and maintain combat readiness.
“The BOSS program is designed to support the overall quality of life of individual Soldiers and to help maintain and improve Soldier readiness,” said Gia Gillotte-Taylor, Fort Carson BOSS Program Administrator. “It does this by offering a wide variety of events, activities and courses across all pillars of the program.”
The four pillars of the BOSS program are recreation, community work, life skills and quality of life.
“The program aims to build character through various initiatives,” said PFC Emil Smochina, program secretary of Fort Carson BOSS. “Through the voice of our soldiers, we are seamlessly changing the dynamics of how the army functions as a whole.”
In coordination with other installers such as the Outdoor Recreation Center or the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, BOSS hosts several activities each month for Soldiers to experience.
Recent BOSS events at Fort Carson have included community service activities such as volunteering at the local zoo or Habitat for Humanity; life skills courses covering auto skills, cooking and healthy relationships; and recreational activities such as holiday parties and local sports games and snowboard trips.
“BOSS offers a wide range of experience and support for Soldiers new to the Army or to the facility,” said Gillotte-Taylor. “The program helps get soldiers out of barracks and introduce them to new or recurring activities and people. Camaraderie and new friendships are the takeaways of BOSS Events.”
Joshua Scott, a leader at the Fort Carson Outdoor Recreation Center, said he believes solidarity among soldiers is a key part of the Army’s success. The BOSS program plays an important role in building cohesive teams and friendships.
“Trusting your combat partner while engaging in an activity like ice climbing where your life is literally in their hands can change a person’s perspective on what friendship and camaraderie really is,” Scott said.
Gillotte-Taylor also believes the program supports single soldiers during difficult times and discourages harmful behavior.
“When I first came into the army, I wasn’t in the best of shape,” Scott said. “Getting outside, getting out and doing things with friends and having fun outdoors has been absolutely paramount to my mental health.
I’ve seen other soldiers’ attitudes and perspectives on life change just because they got out and did things that are relaxing and therapeutic.”
Contact a brigade BOSS representative at your respective facility 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 can also visit the Fort Carson Hub for more information.