Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers, or BOSS, is a program originally created in 1989 to support the overall well being of single and unaccompanied Soldiers, who make up 37 percent of the Army.
In 1991, the Chief of Staff of the Army expanded the focus of the BOSS program to include all aspects of single Soldiers’ lives, dividing it into three pillars: community service, quality of life and recreation and leisure.
BOSS’ local mission here at Fort Huachuca is to continually progress and improve the quality of life for single service members. It enables these service members to provide and participate in social, recreational and education events. BOSS is also a way for military individuals to participate in community service projects, to voice concerns and issues on quality of life and to be involved with leadership developing activities, according to information on their website, https://www.facebook.com/FtHuachucaBOSS.
It is motivated single Soldiers who make up the core of the BOSS program, as well as support from the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. Each unit across the installation has a single Soldier representative who acts as the liaison between Soldiers and senior military personnel.
Staff Sgt. Isaiah Ruffin, who became the installation’s BOSS program president in October, explained that in this role, he hopes to increase the overall awareness of the program.
“I really want BOSS to be known,” Ruffin said. “That is the first challenge. I want any Soldier to go on base and if asked whom the BOSS president is, to be able to answer that question.”
Ruffin explained that he intends to accomplish this goal by staying active with the units and their BOSS representatives on the fort. “If the [Family Readiness Group] is having a bake sale, I’m going to their bake sale and bringing cookies,” Ruffin said. “The [Network Enterprise Technology Command] just had an organization day and we came out there to help … and the Lt. Dan Band stage set-up was done by BOSS volunteers.”
Ruffin explained that his favorite aspect of BOSS is the outreach that it provides single Soldiers.
“A lot of Soldiers that come here are brand new to the Army, and they are unsure of what to do around town. BOSS provides safe, healthy and positive options,” said Ruffin.
All single Soldiers, single parents and unaccompanied Soldiers may participate in BOSS activities. Certain events such as volunteer opportunities and some trips may be available to married Soldiers, if space is available.
“Here on Fort Huachuca, we provide outlets for [single Soldiers] to get out and do stuff other than sit in the barracks,” Ruffin added. “Sometimes people say ‘I want to go to Tucson but it costs too much money.’ So we will fund the transportation and they can get group discounts. Sometimes [BOSS] pays for the whole thing.”
The program also supports the chain of command by acting as a unified voice for single Soldiers to identify issues and concerns and provide recommendations for improvement.
Due to the current budget restraints, however, Ruffin explained that another challenge for the installation’s program falls within the quality of life pillar.
“We have to be really adamant about filling out the correct paperwork and getting things fixed so that the Soldier’s overall quality of life is better,” Ruffin said.
BOSS hosts activities and events throughout the year that fit a variety of personalities.
Get out of the barracks and experience a Taste of Tucson food tour through the heart of Old Pueblo, Nov. 30 or Dec. 7. The tour includes round-trip transportation and at least six different tasting stops. Twelve slots are available for each date, first come, first served. Cost is $40 per person. A bus will depart MURR Community Center at 9:30 a.m.
On the first Friday of each month, BOSS sponsors Friday Night Magic, 6 – 10 p.m., at MURR Community Center.
As the holidays quickly approach, many volunteer opportunities will be available.
BOSS will be out supporting the Turkey Trot, a 5K run/walk, on Nov. 28 at 8 am.
Volunteers will be assisting the Fort Huachuca Community Spouses Club during the Tour of Homes on Dec. 15.
The BOSS program will also assist the Sierra Vista Boys and Girls Club during upcoming holiday events in December. To volunteer for any of these events or for more information, call 533.8252.
Along with the events and activities, a BOSS Lounge is available to single Soldiers on Fort Huachuca. Located at MURR Community Center, Bldg. 51301, Cushing Street, the lounge offers an area to relax, hang out with friends, or watch a movie. Flat screen televisions, free WiFi Internet, couches, chairs, and tables are available. More than 100 movies and video games are on hand to check out for use in the lounge.
The BOSS Lounge is open Monday – Thursday, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Friday, 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Saturday, noon – 9 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
For more information about BOSS, contact Staff Sgt. Isaiah Ruffin, 533.8252 or visit www.facebook.com/FtHuachucaBOSS.