ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – APG organizations are teaming up to promote “That Guy” a multi-media awareness campaign aimed at reducing excessive drinking among young service members.
“That Guy” is a research-based campaign funded by the Department of Defense that uses peer-to-peer communication strategies and humor to deliver a serious message about binge drinking. The awareness campaign reminds Soldiers about the short-term, social and reputational consequences of excessive drinking and urges them to don’t be “That Guy” or “That Girl.”
“The campaign encourages young enlisted [Soldiers] to reject binge drinking because it detracts from the things they care about: family, friends, dating,” states the website, www.thatguy.com.
Monthly-themed “That Guy” posters will be displayed prominently in the barracks and in Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities. Promotional materials like stickers and magnets will be distributed at installation and Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers, or BOSS, events.
Binge drinking impacts force readiness
APG Garrison Headquarters and Headquarters Company Commander Capt. Robert “Danny” Allen said the campaign is critical because it reminds Soldiers that they are responsible for their actions.
“We are reminding them that [being a Soldier] is a profession,” he said. “It [binge drinking] has a direct impact on readiness.”
Prevention Coordinator Cindy Scott, with the Army Substance Abuse Program, or ASAP, said excessive drinking is a serious problem, especially among 18-24 year-old junior enlisted military personnel.
“Binge drinking is associated with a number of health and behavioral problems including sexual assaults, domestic violence, suicide and motor vehicle accidents,” she said. “The goal [of ‘That Guy’] is to have Soldiers monitor themselves and other Soldiers to avoid high risk choices. Don’t be ‘That Guy.’“
Scott said ASAP will distribute the “That Guy” promotional materials during installation events. These materials are also available cost-free, including free shipping, at http://resources.thatguy.com/. The “That Guy” website includes photos, videos, memes, games, quizzes and information about alcohol treatment programs.
“‘That Guy’ supports the mission of resiliency and readiness,” she said. “It’s a win-win.”
BOSS Super Bowl Party
On Sunday, Feb. 5, BOSS will host a Super Bowl party for Team APG at First Sergeant’s Grill located in the APG North (Aberdeen) recreation center.
“That Guy” drink coasters, key chains and playing cards will be given to attendees. BOSS volunteers will provide a complementary shuttle service for Soldiers and civilians who live on post who choose to consume alcohol and need a designated driver.
“Don’t be ‘That Guy,’ always have a plan,” said BOSS President Sgt. Clifton Hawkins, of Alpha Battery, 3rd Air Defense Artillery. “The event is intended to provide a safe environment and promote a sense of community among the APG workforce. We know people are going to drink and watch the game, but we want to do what we can to keep them off the road.”
The event , which begins at 5 p.m., is free for single Soldiers and costs $5 for married Soldiers and civilians. Admission includes wings, meatballs, various appetizers and soft drinks courtesy of First Sergeants Grill.
Hawkins said the mission of the BOSS program is to “enhance the morale and welfare of single Soldiers, increase retention and sustain combat readiness.”
APG Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Toese Tia Jr. said BOSS is a readiness-focused program designed to “mature and develop” junior enlisted Soldiers.
“Everything in the Army is about readiness,” he said. “When we can develop our junior Soldiers, our single Soldiers, in such a way that we are focusing on their needs, it is an enabler for the big Army.”
The APG BOSS program meets twice a month to plan recreational, educational and community service activities, Hawkins said. Upcoming events include a ski trip Feb. 9 for single Soldiers and geographic bachelors; a volunteer project to support the Maryland State Wrestling Championship at Harford Community College Feb.17-18; volunteering with the City of Aberdeen and the APG Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division during Earth Day activities April 22; and an automotive class in the spring.
For more information about BOSS visit https://www.armymwr.com/programs-and-services/boss/about-boss/; contact Hawkins at firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit the BOSS Facebook page, APG Boss Program.