Fort McCoy News January 23, 2015

Fort McCoy BOSS Program grows; seeks participation

BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

Participation in the Fort McCoy Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) Program is growing. It's a trend BOSS Program President Sgt. 1st Class Felicia Ingram hopes continues.

Fort McCoy serves a single service member population of fewer than 100 people. Ingram said by becoming a part of BOSS, those service members have more opportunities available to them at the installation.

Photo for BOSS article
Members of the Fort McCoy Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers Program decorate trees for the holidays near the Main Gate in December as part of group community project. Photo by Capt. Richard Jackson

"Single Soldiers are an important part of the Army community, and we want them all to know this program is available to them," said Ingram, who's assigned to the Staff Sgt. Todd R. Cornell Noncommissioned Officer Academy. "Our program offers those single Soldiers an opportunity to get involved and learn about our community."

Recreation Specialist Karl Bugman, BOSS Program coordinator at the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (DFMWR), said the program has three core components — quality of life, recreation and leisure, and community service.

"The mission of the BOSS program is to enhance the morale and welfare of single Soldiers, increase retention and sustain combat readiness," Bugman said. "BOSS is the collective voice of single Soldiers through the chain of command, which serves as a tool for commanders to gauge the morale of single Soldiers regarding quality-of-life issues."

The BOSS Program serves the entire single Soldier community — active-duty, Guard and Reserve — and single parents, geographical bachelors and other branches of service and foreign service members, according to the Army BOSS Program description.

Members of the Fort McCoy BOSS Program were quite active in local communities in December. Their food and toy drive resulted in 325 pounds of food and 48 pounds of clothing being donated to a shelter in Sparta, and an additional 245 pounds of food and 73 pounds of clothing donated to a Tomah shelter.

"We also supported the wrapping (holiday) gifts for homeless veterans," Ingram said. "There were 495 gifts wrapped from donations made by people of Fort McCoy. The drives and the gift-wrapping were great events to provide community participation."

As a DFMWR-managed effort, Bugman, as adviser, covers the financial and planning aspect of the program.
"It's the adviser's role to coordinate between the different MWR programs to assist in making the program successful," Bugman said.

The BOSS Program also affords Soldiers the opportunity to assist in planning and executing of recreation activities for single Soldiers, as well as direction for Soldiers interested in performing military and civilian community service-related projects. Those projects can provide Soldiers with valuable experience, skills and a sense of community pride and ownership, Bugman said.

"The camaraderie and the ability to get to know all of the people from the different tenant organizations here is great," Ingram said. "Also, just getting to know the mixture of people who are from all over (America) is good."

Because the BOSS Program also is managed by a senior enlisted adviser, it also can serve as a tool to address many of the issues and concerns with Army leadership.

"That's why I think more Soldiers need to be a part of this program," Ingram said. "We invite them to come be a part of our organization."

BOSS Program meetings are held the second Thursday of each month at noon in building 1121 (behind Rumpel Fitness Center).
The meetings are for all eligible Soldiers at every level, Bugman said. Issues addressed during BOSS meetings will be submitted to seek resolution through the proper channels or staff agency. All BOSS members and interested Soldiers are welcome and encouraged to attend.

For more information about the BOSS Program, call Karl Bugman at 608-388-3944.