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New BOSS president works to make program continued success

New BOSS president works to make program continued success

Story by Chuck Cannon on 07/03/2019

By ANGIETHORNE
Guardian staff writer

FORT POLK, La. Change is inevitable. Soldiers know this as they move from post to post, rise through the ranks and learn and adapt through training. But when someone is given the chance to influence change, they soon discover it’s what they put into the process that can have the biggest impact.
Cpl. Bianca Ortiz has been given that chance as Fort Polk’s new Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers president.
Ortiz said she made the effort to be BOSS president because she didn’t want the program to lose its momentum.
“I want it to continue to grow and improve into the future,” she said.
Her focus is reaching out to more single Soldiers across units and show them everything BOSS has to offer.
“Traveling off post to have an adventure is great. We will still do things like sky diving, but I would also like to get Soldiers involved in fun activities right here on post. There are so many great things Fort Polk has to offer like paint ball, bowling, go carting and more. I know some Soldiers that have never been to the bowling alley or Toledo Bend Recreation Site. I think that needs to change,” she said.
Ortiz said Soldiers are excited about the BOSS Beach Bash, held Aug. 2 at TBRS.
“If this is their first time to visit Toledo Bend, I want it to be a positive experience for them and a successful event,” she said.
Ortiz said the BOSS program has allowed her to meet many people who have become friends and family to her.
“I would never have had a chance to meet them if not for BOSS,” she said.
Ortiz encourages single Soldiers to give BOSS a try. She said it never hurts to try something new.
“Young single Soldiers are often sent to places far away from home. They don’t know anyone and that can be hard. For me, BOSS has always been my safe place and I want to create an atmosphere that allows other BOSS Soldiers to feel that way as well,” she said.
Not only does BOSS give Soldiers a place to connect with other Soldiers, but it also offers them a chance to be part of something bigger than themselves, said Ortiz.
“They don’t realize how rewarding BOSS is until they have experienced it for themselves. The program can have a huge impact on their lives and give them an opportunity to have a positive influence on others,” she said.
A perfect example of that is the volunteer and community service aspect of BOSS.
Ortiz said Soldiers go to the Soup Kitchen in DeRidder each week to help feed people who need assistance.
“When you volunteer at the kitchen on a regular basis you see a lot of the same people stop by to eat. We are able to make a connection on a personal level. If we miss a turn at the kitchen, they ask us where we were and if everything is OK. They miss us when we aren’t there. It’s nice to know the BOSS program has a positive impact, not only on Soldiers serving, but also in the surrounding communities,” she said.
Ortiz said one of the most challenging things about being BOSS president so far has been making the program her own.
“People keep telling me I have big shoes to fill and how we used to do things and I keep answering that things change. It’s my time to work hard to make this a one-of-a-kind BOSS program. I will do everything I can to make it shine, but I need everyone’s support for that to happen,” she said.
Ortiz also wants Soldiers to know that she and Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher M. Ausbun, garrison command sergeant major, are there for single Soldiers.
“BOSS is the voice of the single Soldier. If you have an issue, you can come to us and we will try to get it resolved,” she said.
For more information about BOSS call 531-1948.

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