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Enhancing Quality of Life: Fort Drum Soldiers Discuss Issues at BOSS Conference

FORT DRUM, N.Y. (April 19, 2024) – Soldiers are eager to express their opinions on personal living space, dining choices, education, leisure activities, and other aspects that impact their quality of life.

The Fort Drum Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers Conference, held on April 17-18 at The Peak, buzzed with lively discussions and idea exchanges among over 100 battalion BOSS representatives. The agenda included presentations from various directorate and organization officials covering topics such as single Soldier housing, food services, volunteer opportunities, recreational activities, and updates on installation infrastructure.

While the briefings were concise, the subsequent Q&A sessions overflowed with engagement and enthusiasm.

Sgt. Keegan Murphy, the BOSS vice president and acting president, emphasized the importance of fostering an open dialogue to empower Soldiers to voice their preferences and contribute to shaping initiatives. Collaboration with Command Sgt. Maj. Jeremiah Larson, Fort Drum’s garrison senior enlisted adviser, is instrumental in ensuring the effectiveness of programs on post.

The conference kickstarted with Larson urging attendees to collaborate effectively to translate information into tangible outcomes. He stressed the significance of utilizing the shared knowledge to generate actionable plans and encouraged open forum discussions to facilitate idea sharing and concept development.

For many participants new to the BOSS program, the event served as a platform to understand their roles, address critical quality of life issues, and brainstorm innovative solutions.

Murphy highlighted the program’s core focus on enhancing quality of life by actively involving single Soldiers in decision-making processes. By soliciting their input and engagement, the program becomes more meaningful and relevant to its members.

In a proactive approach, Soldiers crafted life skills classes during the conference, outlining operational strategies, marketing plans, and cost projections. Proposed classes ranged from room maintenance workshops to haircutting sessions, reflecting a diverse array of interests and needs within the community.

Spc. Lisa Vernesse, representing the 10th Mountain Division Sustainment Brigade, emphasized the value of offering practical skills classes that enable Soldiers to expand their knowledge and capabilities for personal and professional growth.

Furthermore, participants engaged in group activities to brainstorm ways to enhance the BOSS program’s reach and impact. Sgt. Alexander Kelsall, BOSS representative for the 10th Mountain Division Special Troops Battalion, highlighted the importance of increasing participation and engagement to enrich the program’s effectiveness.

Kelsall, who previously served as a BOSS president at another duty station, commended the networking opportunities provided by the conference, enabling Soldiers to connect with peers from different units and enhance their sense of community within the division.