First BOSS Strong Championship to shape functional fitness

U.S. Army IMCOM 2017 Soldier of the Year Spc. Lillian Lewis of Fort Riley, Kan., maneuvers through the obstacle course at Camp Bullis, Texas, during Best Warrior Competition. Soldiers will tackle at least a portion of the same obstacle course in the 2017 BOSS Strong Championship, scheduled for Sept. 11-24 in San Antonio. (Photo by Tim Hipps)

By Robert Dozier, Public Affairs, Installation Management Command

Fort Meade’s “Legion of Prosperity,” made up of three Soldiers and three Marines, are Fort Meade’s representative in the first BOSS Strong Championship being held later this month at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

“We will probably be the only team at the championship that is not solely made up of Soldiers,” said Sgt. Kiyanna Hamamura, president of the Fort Meade BOSS program.

Army Installation Management Command teams of America’s “rugged professionals” will converge on San Antonio for two weeks in September to determine who best represents readiness, fitness and resilience.

Five teams of six Soldiers will begin the BOSS Strong Championship on Sept. 11 at Retama Park in San Antonio, competing in a sequence of daily events that measure application of the five healthy aspects of Army life: physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual well-being.

BOSS refers to Better Opportunities for Single Service Soldiers, an Army program designed to increase exposure to educational, social, recreational and artistic activities by unaccompanied military members at Army garrisons around the world.

The BOSS Strong Championship will climax on Sept. 24 with an obstacle course competition and presentation of the championship trophy.

During the two-week event, the Army will record each team’s progress for delayed broadcast on the U.S. Department of Defense News website and other online platforms.

The web series will tell the story of the contestants and follow the teams as they progress through the competition.

The goal of the competition, anticipated to be an annual event, is to increase Soldiers’ awareness of the most modern ways to increase functional physical fitness, and to highlight the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs and facilities available on Army installations for Soldiers to use in their personal workout programs.

Five trainers will be assigned to each of the five teams. The trainers are Olympians, Alpha Warrior champions and Soldiers from the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program.

The trainers will follow a fitness and nutrition blueprint designed by Bennie Wylie, the winning trainer in Season 1 of the NBC “Strong” series. Each trainer will push the team members to enhance their physical abilities, while competing for cumulative points toward being named BOSS Strong champions.

There will be no elimination in the contest. Rather, each team is scored on how well members work together to improve the squad over a hectic two-week program that tests outdoor recreation skills such as swimming, rock climbing, golf, horseback riding and obstacle courses.

Related events include life skills such as healthy nutrition and cooking. The competitors also will participate in a community service event.

Hamamura said they will be tracking the “Legion of Prosperity” on the BOSS Facebook page.

“We have posted pictures and videos of their progress [already],” Hamamura said.

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