July 26, 2012

BOSS bids farewell to longtime president, welcomes new leader

By Caroline Keyser
Warrior editor

Sgt. Quentin Davis, outgoing BOSS president, speaks on 88.3 FM KNTC in 2011. Davis was a frequent guest on Fort Irwin’s radio station.

The National Training Center and Fort Irwin will soon lose a familiar face.

Sgt. Quentin Davis, president of the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program since January 2011, will leave Fort Irwin in early August. His departure marks the end of 12 years of active-duty service in the Army, and a transition into life as a citizen-Soldier in the Army reserve.

The BOSS program aims to help improve quality of life for single Soldiers and to provide them with community service and leisure activities. Davis called it an honor to have served as president of the program that has had a major impact on him throughout his Army career. Before coming to Fort Irwin in March 2010, Davis spent six years stationed in Germany, where he became vice-president of the BOSS program at U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr.

At Fort Irwin, Davis was tapped for the position of president after the command sergeant major of 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, where Davis was assigned, observed him helping a young Soldier. The sergeant major asked Davis for his thoughts on ways to help single Soldiers, and Davis immediately began talking about the BOSS program, where he volunteered as squadron president for 2/11.

“He saw that I spoke passionately about it,” Davis said.

When the previous BOSS president moved to a new duty station, Davis was assigned to take over. Under his guidance, the program grew from a few dozen members who occasionally went on off-post trips and outings to an organization of about 650 active members who have traveled across California together and have performed numerous acts of community service both on post and off. Some of the new programs and initiatives that have begun since Davis took over are Battle Buddies Against Drunk Driving, which includes a BOSS-themed van that provides Soldiers free rides around Fort Irwin on weekends; establishment of the annual Cali Swag Car show that has attracted corporate sponsors and participants from across the country; the opening of the BOSS Zone lounge and recreation room in Bldg. 292; an expanded schedule of BOSS sports and game competitions; and renovation of Fort Irwin’s paintball and airsoft ranges, which was completed by BOSS volunteers and saved the installation an estimated $20,000. Davis has also expanded outreach to BOSS programs on other installations, and frequently swaps ideas and suggestions with them.

Spc. Kendrick Barnett, left, and Sgt. Quentin Davis, right, pose for a photo with Miss California Route 66 and the winners of Best in Show at the second annual Cali Swag Car Show at Fort Irwin June 23.

Despite these accomplishments, Davis remains humble.

“I tell everyone it’s not about me, it’s about the Soldiers,” he said. “It’s their program.”

The current BOSS vice-president, Spc. Kendrick Barnett, will take the reins after Davis leaves. Barnett, a native of Dallas, has been in the Army for less than three years, and Fort Irwin is his first duty station.

“I’m excited,” Barnett said. “I knew of BOSS before I came here, but I never thought I would ever be sitting in the president’s seat this early in my career. But I’ve had a great predecessor. Sgt. Davis has taught me a lot, and he’s left me everything I need to be successful. And I’ve got a lot of good advisors here to help me.”

Barnett has experience working with non-profit organizations, which he said has helped him in his work with BOSS. His current focus is to keep the various BOSS programs running and to fine-tune the details of some of the programs that have recently been established. Some upcoming BOSS events include Battle of the Barracks video game tournament on Aug. 30, BOSS Bowl seven-on-seven flag football tournament on Sept. 15-16, and a night paintball tournament on Nov. 10.

“Barnett hasn’t missed a beat,” Davis said. “He’s going to continue to elevate the program.”

While Davis will be leaving Fort Irwin, he won’t disappear entirely from the desert. He plans to spend a few months visiting family in his native state of Alabama before settling in Las Vegas and establishing an events and promotions company. And, he already has a name picked out—Southern Hospitality Entertainment.

As he prepares to leave, Davis said the most satisfying part of serving as president of BOSS has been watching the growth of enthusiasm for the program among Fort Irwin’s Soldiers.

“Everywhere I go now, people ask me about BOSS,” he said. “I didn’t realize so many people knew my name.”

So many Soldiers have expressed interest in volunteering with BOSS that Barnett and Davis have created new leadership positions, such as BOSS sports director, to accommodate everyone.

“(Davis) has showed Soldiers how important it is to be a unit, to give back to the community, and to educate themselves,” Barnett said. “He gives 100 percent, and he’s taught us to give more than take.”

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