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NEWS | Nov. 18, 2013

BOSS builds bonds between 'battle buddies'

By Airman 1st Class Austin Harvill 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

A shot whizzes by a young Soldier, missing him by inches. The Soldier retreats and commands his team to pinpoint the assailant. Upon confirmation, the team members return with their own volley, neutralizing the threat.

"He's out!" yells one of teammates from the sidelines, watching intently. The young Soldier's team chalked up another win for this friendly game of dodge ball.

Whether planning a dodge ball game, community event or volunteer service, the Better Opportunity for Single Soldiers organization at Fort Eustis strives to give single Soldiers the chance to relax, have fun and give back to the Fort Eustis community and beyond.

"BOSS is here to give Soldiers - especially those in the barracks - an opportunity to do something new," said U.S. Army Spc. Demetrea Cooper, BOSS president. "It can be a community event, recreational activity or something in the middle; all that matters is giving them the opportunity to mix things up."

BOSS boasts a three-pillar mission: quality of life, community service and recreation and leisure. Each event hosted by the organization may be directed towards one of the three pillars, but Spc. Adam Bradford, BOSS vice president, believes all three are applicable, regardless of the activity.

"When we do a community service or a recreational event, it is impossible to separate our core tenets," said Bradford. "Helping the community brings out the heart of organization, and it gives Soldiers a sense of belonging within the community, which definitely improves their outlook. During a game of dodge ball, those same Soldiers interact with their contemporaries in other units, so they strengthen our Fort Eustis community."

Bradford also said BOSS provides a positive outlet for Soldiers.

"Most Soldiers need something to break the monotony of day-in, day-out operations," said Bradford. "BOSS takes them out of the barracks, out of their unit and even outside of the base and gives them a chance to put their creativity to good use."

Aside from reducing stress and improving morale, BOSS presents opportunities to Soldiers looking to beef up their leadership skills, said Spc. Timothy Epps, 149th Seaport Company, 10th Transportation Battalion, 7th Sustainment Brigade BOSS representative.

"My favorite aspect of this organization is its ability to bring out Soldiers who want to improve themselves professionally," said Epps. "Even if they are just organizing small parts of a bigger event, Soldiers in BOSS build the leadership skills they need when they become [noncommissioned officers] or even commissioned officers."

Whether making friends, building skills or just hanging out, Bradford said he believes every Soldier gains something special from the program.

"BOSS will always provide great leadership tools, chances to relax and opportunities to interact with those we serve, but it does something more for the individual Soldier," said Bradford. "BOSS brings the Army family together, allowing us to feed off each other's support. At the end of the day, it gives us the strength we need to continue the Army mission."

For more information about BOSS, contact the staff office at 878-2067.