Legion Charter 2010
Article I - Club Mission
The 501st Legion (hereafter referred to as “the Legion”, “the 501st“, and “Vader’s Fist”) is a Star Wars fan club dedicated to celebrating the Star Wars universe through costuming; specifically the costumes and characters of the stormtrooper and other Imperial forces, as well as non-affiliated villains and denizens. The Legion is an all-volunteer organization formed for the express purpose of bringing together costume enthusiasts under a collective identity within which to operate. The Legion seeks to promote interest in Star Wars through the building and wearing of quality costumes, and to facilitate the use of these costumes for Star Wars-related events as well as contributions to the local community through costumed charity and volunteer work.
The Legion recognizes it holds no claim over the costumes and characters it portrays, and that their use is a privilege extended by Lucasfilm Ltd. (LFL). The members of the Legion acknowledge and accept that while in costume, we represent the Star Wars brand and will do so professionally and responsibly at all times.
This Charter serves to define the role and operations of the Legion, as well as the rights and responsibilities of its members. It is subject to amending as needed upon ratification by its membership.
Article II - Membership
A. The 501st Legion is an inclusive, equal-opportunity fan organization and will not tolerate discrimination on the grounds of gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, creed, nationality or physical handicap. The only requirements for membership are ownership of a Legion-approved costume representing villainous or malevolent characters from the Star Wars films or its expanded universe sources, wearability of said costume(s) and that the member must be at least eighteen ( 18 ) years of age. The 501st neither claims nor holds any responsibility for minors at events that are hosted or attended by its members.
B. Membership is granted only after an application is made to the Legion. Upon admission, a member is assigned a unique identification number following in the tradition of the Stormtrooper character TK-421 mentioned in A New Hope. Preceding this number is a two-character prefix code denoting the costume of the member. The prefix codes and what costumes they identify are listed in the Costume Reference Library (CRL). A member owning more than one costume will still have only one identification number, but are referred to using whatever prefix codes are applicable for their respective costumes. Identification numbers will be maintained by the Legion Membership Officer and are permanently assigned despite member status unless otherwise reassigned by a judgment of the Legion Council through a 2/3 majority vote of the Legion Council members.
C. Active Membership Definition An Active Member is defined as a member in good standing who meets the following requirements:
- Meets all 501st Membership Requirements (i.e. ownership of an approved costume, is over 18 years of age, etc).
- Has an approved membership record in the 501st Legion Membership Database
- Maintains active contact with their Garrison CO or GML. Active contact and participation will be confirmed during the annual Legion Census held each year during the month of October.
- Maintains contact information/membership record in the 501st Legion database either through their Garrison CO or GML.
- Participates in at least ONE Garrison or Legion activity per year while wearing an approved 501st costume owned by said member. One year is defined as a rolling 12-month window from last activity so, for example, a member trooping on June 30 will have to troop on or before June 30 the following year to be considered active. Trooping in non-owned costumes is allowable, but not for maintaining basic membership requirements. Examples of an activity include, but are not limited to conventions, charity events, or any activity designated as an official event by a coordinating administrative unit of the Legion.
- Members who serve in military branches are exempt from activity level requirements if their service renders them unable to meet these requirements.
These Minimum Activity Level Requirements should be administered as justly and with as much common sense as possible. An Active Member is eligible to:
- Vote in polls of the Active Membership.
- Vote in local and legion elections.
- Run for and/or hold elected or appointed offices in the 501st Legion (including Detachment Leadership).
- Coordinate/host official 501st events as designated or allowed by their unit leader.
- Purchase official 501st/member-only merchandise (i.e. t-shirts, cards, badges, etc.) that are offered only to 501st members
- Have their picture and/or profile displayed on 501st.com in the membership section.
- Participate in official 501st events (i.e. charity benefits, celebrity appearances, guest escorts, etc).
- Have access to the 501st legion message boards and applicable unit messages boards.
D. Reserve Membership Definition:
A Reserve Member is defined as a member in good standing who meets the following requirements:
- Meets all 501st membership requirements (i.e. ownership of an approved costume, is over 18 years of age, etc).
- Has an approved membership record in the 501st Legion membership database
- Maintains active contact with his/her Garrison CO or designated representative (GML). Active contact and participation will be confirmed during the annual Legion Census held each year during the month of October.
- Maintains their contact information/membership record in the 501st Legion Database (either through their Garrison CO or their designated representative (Garrison Membership Liaison).
- Participates in a supporting* role for the Garrison or Legion at least once per year. One year is defined, at the discretion of the unit leader, as a rolling or census-to-census 12-month window from last troop so, for example, a member trooping on June 30 will have to troop on or before June 30 the following year to be considered active.
∗ Examples of supporting activities include, but are not limited to the following: event planning, armor parties, out-of-costume event help, and/or any other administrative functions to be approved by their unit leader as qualifying activities or contributions. A Reserve Member is eligible to:
- Have limited access on 501st.com & Legion forums.
- Have access to Garrison/Outpost planning forums and public or semi-private discussion areas at the discretion of the unit leader.
- Have access to Detachment forums.
- Have a picture and/or profile displayed on the 501st membership and costume designation pages, marked with a "Reserve Duty" indicator.
A Reserve Member is NOT eligible to:
- Vote in unit or legion polls or elections.
- Run for office or accept an officer or administrative position.
- Buy or create merchandise.
- Participate in limited access events or requests.
- Access main legion forums.
- Access unit members-only forums. This is reserved for active members who meet the requirements of active membership at the discretion of the unit leader.
E. Retired Membership Definition:
A Retired Member is defined as a member in good standing who (one or more of the following):
- Does not have an active costume or does not own a 501st approved costume.
- Does not maintain active contact with his/her Outpost CO, Garrison CO or GML, nor participate in the annual Legion Census held each year during the month of October.
- Has been listed as Reserve Duty for more than 12 consecutive months, and has not actively contributed to the legion via a non-costumed activity during that time.
- Is otherwise not able to simply troop.
- Leaves the Legion voluntarily.
A Retired Member is eligible to:
- Retain a displayable legion profile with .Retired. indicator.
- Return to active status via a written request, re-approval of their costume, and completion of or immediately pending completion of a troop.
- Have their membership information and ID number saved/maintained in the 501st Legion database with the member from cradle-to-grave, unless otherwise reassigned by a judgment of the Legion Council through a 2/3 majority vote of the Legion Council members.
A Retired Member is NOT eligible to:
- Vote in unit or legion polls or elections.
- Run for office or accept an officer or administrative position.
- Buy or create merchandise.
- Coordinate official 501st events.
- Participate in limited access events or requests.
- Access main legion forums.
- Access unit members-only forums. This is reserved for active members who meet the requirements of active membership at the discretion of the unit leader.
- Have their picture posted in the 501st.com membership section.
F. Suspended Membership Definition: A Suspended Member is defined as a member in poor standing as imposed by a governing unit leader or Legion officer during, or as the result of, a disciplinary action, administrative action or investigation. This status is meant to be temporary, pending either a return to active status or a change to Discharged status.
All event, forum, merchandise, voting, polling, administrative, election, and membership privileges are suspended, pending the outcome or any proceedings that were the catalyst for said status change, or at the end of the duration of the suspension that is established by said hearing.
G. Discharged Membership Definition:
A Discharged Member is defined as a member in poor standing who has been removed from the legion based upon disciplinary proceedings or criminal offense or a member who leaves deliberately to avoid the loss of good standing or to avoid administrative or disciplinary action.
A Discharged Member is NOT eligible to:
- Vote in any 501st Legion poll or election.
- Run for and/or hold elected or appointed offices in the 501st Legion (including Detachment Leadership).
- Purchase official 501st/member-only merchandise.
- Have their picture and/or profile displayed on 501st.com.
- Coordinate/host official 501st events.
- Participate in official 501st events.
- Have access to the 501st Legion message boards and applicable unit boards.
Members who are discharged shall have a record of the discharge noted in members profile.
H. In Memoriam Membership Definition:
An In Memoriam Member is defined as a member in good standing that has passed away. An In Memoriam member will have:
- Their identification number preserved and not reissued.
- Their profiles, minus contact information, displayed perpetually on the 501st.com Eternal Legionnaires page.
I. A Garrison CO may determine that a member is Active even if they DO NOT meet the normally established Activity Level Requirements. However the reverse is not true, if an Active member is in good standing, meets all membership requirements, and meets activity level requirements they MAY NOT be classified by any other status except by a Legion level Judgment by the LMO or by the member's own request.
- A Member may be classified as Suspended or Discharged as a result of disciplinary action held in accordance with Article IX - Disciplinary Action
- A CO may consider organizing events, support roles during events, assisting new members, and participating in a 501st charity event as grounds for a member to remain active even while not participating in their 501st approved costume. It should be noted such activity is not to be used indefinitely.
- A member who has been placed to any status other than Active at the local level may submit an appeal to the COG and LCO after he/she has exhausted all local means of appeal at the Garrison level.
J Costumes eligible for membership and their associated code prefixes are covered in the 501st Costume Reference Library (CRL), featured on the 501st main website and available through the Legion Membership Officer (LMO). If an applicant's costume is not listed, they should be directed to inquire the LMO, who can then make a ruling or refer it to the Council for consideration for induction into the club list.
K.The 501st Legion reserves the right to deny or revoke membership at any time, based on any past criminal history in accordance with the laws of the applicable country or region within. Notice of such denial or revocation will be filed with the 501st Legion Council.
Article III - Organization
A. The 501st Legion is a worldwide club organized into Garrisons, Squads, Outposts, and Detachments. A Legion Command level helps to coordinate the club, consisting of the Legion Commander (LCO), Legion Executive Officer (LXO), and an administrative staff. The Legion recognizes that most activities will be on the local level. For this reason, the Legion is divided into subdivisions to foster local identity and to encourage teamwork and fraternity. The current list of Garrisons, Squads, Outposts, and Detachments, as well as information on the boundaries between these units, is maintained by the Captain of the Guard.
B. Garrisons The largest subdivisions of the Legion are the Garrisons, which ideally cover large distinctive regions that host unique geography, language, borders or other distinguishing characteristics. A Garrison requires at least twenty-five (25) members and is headed by a Garrison Commander (CO), who is elected every February by the members of the Garrison. The formation of a new Garrison may take place when an Outpost reaches sufficient membership or when a region within an existing Garrison finds pressing needs to break off and form a new Garrison.
Member affiliation with this unit is normally based upon geographical boundaries and the member's primary residence. A member can request to be placed in another Garrison if they feel closer to that Garrison and it is more feasible to regularly attend events with that Garrison. If approved by the CO of the Garrison the member lives in as well as the adopting Garrison's CO, the member may switch affiliations.
Applicants must complete a Garrison Application Form in which they list their new Garrison name, roster of members from the 501st main membership roster, territorial boundaries, Garrison logo, working website and forum, and a brief statement of purpose outlining the reasons for their Garrison to be formed. The form will also list the administrative staff of the Garrison, including a CO, XO, PR Officer, Garrison Web Liaison, and Garrison Membership Liaison who will work with the main Legion Membership Officer in helping to make sure their Garrison members are properly listed and updated on the main 501st website.
The application form must be submitted to the Legion Council and voted on by at least one-third of the Legion Council members in a simple-majority vote. If approved by the Legion Council, the applicant group undergoes a one year probationary period, during which it must demonstrate that it can operate as an independent body. After the one year period, the Council will vote again to approve the Garrison officially. It is required that when a new Garrison forms within an existing Garrison that approval first be sought from the existing Garrison Commander. Garrison COs are free to adopt additional policies and procedures as needed, so long as they are supported by the local membership and do not conflict with the Legion's policies and procedures. COs are also free to appoint additional administrative staff as needed.
Garrisons that fall under the minimum number of members required to apply for Garrison status will have a grace period of one year to return the membership level to or above the minimum. Garrisons that fail to retain the minimum required membership level may be subject to forfeiting one representative seat on the Legion Council. Garrisons that fall to less than half of the minimum required number of members for a Garrison may be subject to losing Garrison status and designated an Outpost.
A Garrison CO has the following responsibilities:
- Organize all 501st Legion events taking place within the geographical territory of his/her Garrison proper, or delegate garrison members to organize/coordinate specific events.
- Represent his/her Garrison members in the Legion Council where club policy is discussed and voted on.
- Choose the second representative to represent his/her Garrison on the Council.
- Organize his/her Garrison by appointing an administrative staff to handle the Garrison website, logo creation, public relations, communication, and enforcement of club and Garrison rules.
- Appoint an Executive Officer (XO) to assist as second-in-command in running the Garrison.
- Resolve disputes internal to the Garrison and make all potential problems known to Legion Command.
- Keep in touch with all members of his/her Garrison, either personally or through an intermediary, and build good relations and good morale among the troops.
- Help in deciding if new Squads or Garrisons should be allowed to form within his/her Garrison territory.
- Perform his/her duties in a professional and level-headed manner befitting an officer.
C. Squads Garrisons can create squads within their units where somewhat isolated clusters of members tend to operate together regularly. These squads may or may not eventually grow into potential new Garrisons, but such an evolution is neither presumed nor required. Squad affiliation is normally based upon geographical boundaries and each member's primary residence. A member of a Garrison residing within a squad's boundaries can petition their CO to be exempt from membership in that squad. A Garrison member not living within a squad's boundaries may request to join a squad, but the permission of both the CO and the SL is required. A member of a Garrison with multiple squads may also request switching squad affiliations from the one they reside in to another. In such cases the approval of the CO and both squad leaders (from the squad of residence and the adopting squad) must approve the transfer.
A Squad requires at least ten (10) members and is headed by a Squad Leader (SL) who is elected every February by the members of the Squad. The creation of a squad requires the completion of a Squad Application Form, which lists the new Squad's name, roster of members from their local Garrison membership roster, territorial boundaries, squad logo, and a brief statement of purpose outlining the reasons for the squad to be formed. This application must first be submitted to the Garrison CO, who presents it to the Executive Council of the Garrison for deliberation and a subsequent vote on whether or not to approve the unit. If approved, the Garrison membership must vote to ratify their leadership's decision and confirm the first Squad Leader.
The locally approved Squad Application Form is then submitted by the CO to the Legion Commander and Captain of the Guard for review, approval, and processing. Once approved by the Legion, the squad must undergo a six-month probationary period during which it should demonstrate that it can operate as a productive and harmonious entity within the Garrison. After this six-month period, the squad's performance is reviewed by the Garrison CO and the Legion COG. If the squad's performance has been satisfactory, it earns full, ongoing operational status. If, however, their performance has not been satisfactory, their CO or the COG may set additional criteria for the squad to achieve before final approval is given. Approval may also be withdrawn by either their CO or the COG, necessitating a new application at some future time. An application for the same squad can only be submitted once a year.
Any squad that falls under the minimum number of ten (10) members will have a grace period of 12 months to return their membership level to or above the minimum requirement. A squad that cannot regain the required number of members within this 12 month period will be dissolved. The CO of a dissolved squad must notify Legion Command of the situation.
If, after a squad is approved, there should arise any grounds to dissolve the squad, the same process that created the squad must be followed to remove it. Namely, the garrison's Executive Council must vote to disband it. That vote, if in the affirmative, then goes before the membership of the Garrison for confirmation. A dissolved squad must wait a minimum of one year from the time of dissolution before reapplying for squad status.
A Squad Leader has the following responsibilities:
- Organize all local events taking place within the geographical territory of his/her Squad proper, or delegate squad members to organize/coordinate specific events. Ultimate approval for events and their classification as a garrison or squad event under formal or informal criteria still resides with the Garrison CO.
- Represent his/her Squad members in the garrison's Executive Council.
- Resolve disputes internal to the Squad and make all potential problems known to Garrison Command.
- Keep in touch with all members of his/her Squad and build good relations and good morale among the troops.
Perform his/her duties in a professional and level-headed manner befitting an officer.
- A Squad Leader does not appoint any administrative staff, but continues to rely on the administrative staff of the Garrison (GML, GWL, PRO, etc). A squad leader may petition their CO for permission to appoint an XO.
- A Squad Leader does not set policy or procedure for the members of the squad. That continues to be the role of the Garrison CO and the Legion Council and Command.
- A Squad Leader also has no disciplinary authority. Disciplinary issues remain the purview of the Garrison CO.
- A Vote of No Confidence (VoNC) may be requested by any member of the squad and/or any member of the parent Garrison's Executive Council. A subsequent VoNC poll would include the garrison's membership at large.
- Squad merchandise must be approved by the Garrison CO before being presented to the MBO for final approval.
- Squads do not have a separate website or forum. They should instead have a dedicated page on their Garrison's website or a separate page hosted on their Garrison's website, and a dedicated forum (or forums) on their Garrison's forums. Said forum(s) should be open to all Garrison members.
D. Outposts For areas that lie outside 501st Legion control and do not have enough members to form a Garrison, an Outpost may be formed. An Outpost requires only one member and is headed by a Commanding Officer (CO), who is elected every February by the members of the Outpost. Applicants must complete an Outpost Application Form in which they list their new Outpost name, roster of members from the main 501st roster, territorial boundaries, and Outpost logo. Application for an Outpost must be submitted to the Legion Council and voted on by at least one-third of the Legion Council members in a simple-majority vote. If approved by the Legion Council vote, the Outpost immediately becomes official. Once an Outpost contains twenty-five members it may apply to be a recognized Garrison as outlined above and may waive the one-year trial period at the discretion of the Legion Council. Member affiliation with this unit is mandatory based upon geographical boundaries and the member's primary residence.
Outposts that lose all active members will be considered an inactive Outpost for a period of one year. If an Outpost gains a member or reactivates previously inactive members, the Outpost will be considered active without delay. If an Outpost remains inactive for one year, it will be considered abandoned, and any new Outpost in that region will require a new application.
An Outpost CO has the following responsibilities:
- Organize all 501st Legion events taking place within the geographical territory of his/her Outpost proper, or delegate outpost members to organize/coordinate specific events.
- Represent his/her Outpost members on the Legion Council where Legion policy is discussed and voted on.
- Organize his/her Outpost by appointing an administrative staff to handle the Outpost's website, logo creation, public relations, communication, and enforcement of Legion and Outpost rules.
- Appoint an Executive Officer (XO) to assist as second-in-command in running the Outpost.
- Resolve disputes internal to the Outpost and make all potential problems known to Legion Command.
- Keep in touch with all members of his/her Outpost, either personally or through an intermediary, and build good relations and good morale among the troops.
- Help in determining when the unit is ready to apply for Garrison status.
- Perform his/her duties in a professional and level-headed manner befitting an officer.
E. Detachments Given the diversity of costumes encompassed in the Legion's collective costume repertoire, special themed units called .detachments. may be created to improve the quality and awareness of a specific costume category in the Legion's CRL. These units serve as a resource for costumers both in and out of the Legion. Accordingly, their websites and forums may contain both public and 501st-only areas. Access to said areas and the decorum thereon are dictated by the Legion.s membership and forum rules.
A detachment requires five (5) members (detachment membership is defined in the following paragraph), and is headed by a Detachment Leader (DL), who is elected annually by the members of the detachment in accordance with the Legion's election procedures and timelines. A member wishing to form a new detachment must submit an application (as contained on 501st.com) first to the LMO, who will make sure the costume qualifies and does not encroach upon any existing detachments costume coverage. The LMO will then submit the approved application to the LCO and COG for review and posting to the Council for a vote. The detachment is bound by the same probationary restrictions as other new units. A review of their probationary period will be held on the Council and a final poll taken to make the unit permanent.
Formal membership, voting rights, and eligibility for office in a detachment requires that a Legion member be active, own a qualifying costume as represented by the detachment, and have the corresponding costume designation in his/her profile. The approval of said costume is, however, still the purview of their local GML. Ownership of a qualifying costume is verified annually as part of the Legion census. Membership in a detachment is optional, and you can be a member of more than one detachment. Membership is initiated by the Legion member when the above criteria is met and they register on the detachment's forum. Active status is maintained by logging onto said forum once a year. Failing this, the member becomes an inactive member of the detachment. All that is required to be reactivated is to once again log in.
All detachment members remain accountable to their respective local Garrison or Outpost leadership, and any disciplinary action taken against them should be handled by their local leaders respectively. A member may be removed from a detachment if the member no longer has a qualifying costume or proves to be disruptive (as determined by a Garrison or Outpost disciplinary hearing in which the detachment is the victim/witness/complainant).
Detachment leaders are supervised and represented on the Council by the LMO. A Detachment Leader has the following responsibilities:
- Verify membership status in the Legion with the approved costume, and grant the appropriate access for active Legion members in good standing to detachments areas.
- monitor the detachment forums and moderate them, appointing additional moderators as needed.
- Ensure that the detachments website is properly maintained and the content thereon is accurate and up to date.
- Participate on the DL forum as needed and when requested.
Maintain contact with the LMO and report any issue or controversy related to costuming.
- A Detachment Leader may appoint an XO, who will be given access to the DL forum to serve as the DL's second when needed. The DL is not directed to appoint any administrative staff, but may do so at their discretion. These additional administrative positions will not, however, be recognized outside of their detachment.
- A Detachment Leader does not set Legion policy or procedure for the members of their detachment. That continues to be the role of their respective COs and the Legion Council and Command.
- A Detachment Leader has no disciplinary authority outside of moderation. An individual violating the forum rules may be moderated for up to 30 days per incident. After three periods of moderation have been imposed, an individual may be permanently banned from a detachment's forum, thereby losing their membership in the detachment.
- Members who have been permanently banned from a detachment's forums must wait a minimum of one year before reapplying for membership in said detachment.
- Disciplinary issues remain the purview of each detachment member.s local commander. A DL may bring disciplinary issues to the attention of the subject-member's CO and request a hearing.
- Detachments do not approve costumes, but may be called upon by the LMO to assist with costume approvals by providing advice, research, and other costume related information.
- Detachments may set alternative internal costuming standards for members who wish to achieve specific levels of costuming excellence. These standards are not valid however outside of the detachment.
- Detachment merchandise must be presented to the MBO for final approval.
Article IV - Offices
A. Three types of offices exist within the Legion: command, leader, administrative. Command offices exist to oversee the organization and deployment of troops and to set and enforce policy. Command offices include the Legion Commanding Officer (LCO), Legion Executive Officer (LXO), garrison and outpost commanders (COs), and garrison and outpost executive officers (XOs). Squad Leaders (SLs) have a lesser supervisory role under the direction of the CO of their garrison. Detachment Leaders (DLs) have a similar supervisory role under the direction of the LMO. Administrative offices exist to perform the administrative duties required by the club and are appointed by the Legion Commander within the Legion administrative staff, by garrison commanders within a garrison's administrative staff, and so on. Legion administrative officers must be ratified by the Legion Council by simple majority. If a candidate for an administrative office is not ratified, the LCO must make a new selection until the candidate is ratified by the Council. Legion administrative officers (listed below) are seated on the Legion Council and are allowed to vote.
Legion Command and Administrative Staff
B. Legion Commander (LCO) - The Legion Commander operates as the top policy maker and administrator for the club. The LCO appoints an LXO and administrative staff to help him/her with every aspect of running the club. Working with the LXO and administrative staff, the LCO represents the club as a whole to the public, formulates policies to be reviewed and approved by the Legion Council, moderates the Council, helps with the induction of new units, helps with the induction of new components to the club, reviews merchandising, and organizes partnerships with outside organizations.
C. Legion Executive Officer (LXO) - The LXO serves the LCO in whatever capacity the LCO needs for better administration of the club. This may involve taking over whole components of club administration as the LCO requires it. The LXO reports directly to the LCO on all issues of import and can serve as a liaison between the Council and the LCO on occasion.
D. The Captain of the Guard (COG) serves to maintain order in the Legion. The COG makes sure the Charter is followed so that all Legion Officers (including Command) do not abuse their authority. They also serve as an observer during Garrison level hearings, assisting Garrison personnel with procedural matters, ensuring the accused has a fair trial, and assessing the prescribed penalty for fairness and consistency with other Garrisons. The COG also makes sure the hearing is properly documented, and files a copy of the hearing at the Legion level for the purpose of review and any subsequent appeals. He/she monitors the official Legion map for accuracy and completeness, taking into account all Outpost, Garrison, and Squad boundaries, and arbitrate all territorial dispuptes. He/she reviews all applications for new Outposts, Garrisons, and Squads, ensuring that the requirements are met, and that the territory described is well defined and does not infringe on existing unit boundaries. And he/she oversees all Legion level elections (and where asked, Garrison elections), to include enforcing any campaigning policies prior to the elections, setting up and monitoring the poll, and certifying the results.
E. The Legion Membership Officer (LMO) is responsible for receiving and processing applications for membership. In doing so, it becomes his/her responsibility to issue and track all identification numbers (i.e. "TK numbers"), guaranteeing their uniqueness. The LMO uses the accompanying application photos to make a determination as to the initial qualifying costume as well as all subsequent requests for additional costume recognition and approval. This approval is based upon the official costume list and official visual reference guide. The LMO is the immediate supervisor to all Garrison Membership Liaisons (GMLs), and serves as the manager of the Legion GML forums. The LMO will conduct (via the GMLs) an annual census of the membership for the purpose of verifying contact information and costume status, and to make the appropriate status assessment and classification. The LMO will respond to initial membership inquiries and handle all issues where membership and/or costume status are concerned. He/she also reviews all applications for new Detachments, ensuring that the requirements are met, and that the costumes covered are well defined and do not infringe on existing costume Detachments.
F. The Legion Webmaster (LWM) is in charge of managing the Legion's website and message boards. In regards to the public website, the LWM is responsible to make sure the appearance and content of the site are accurate, up-to-date, and reflects well the image and integrity of the Legion. In regards to the membership forums, the LWM is responsible for their functionality and content. As head of the web team the LWM coordinates all activities, projects, content management, and moderator actions. The LWM works with other administrative officers to incorporate information for web use such as membership photos, PR items, etc. The LWM has the authority to call and release additional auxiliary personnel and form committees and teams as needed to facilitate the demands on the web team, but all appointments, dismissals, and formations must be reported to the Council and Command prior to such action being taken.
G. The Merchandising and Branding Officer (MBO) monitors all merchandising within the Legion in regards to Garrison and Legion branded merchandise. All merchandising projects at both the Garrison and Legion level must first be approved by the MBO. The MBO makes sure that copyrights are not flagrantly violated, and that pricing follows the Legion's non-profit philosophy. The MBO also monitors the charity fundraising activities of the Legion. Annual Garrison charity fundraising summaries should be forwarded to the MBO for statistical purposes and to have them available for public review. The MBO also responds to infringements of the Legion's names and logos, as well as violations of the "for sale to members only" policy.
H. The Public Relations Officer (PRO) acts as the Legion's advocate with the public, seeking ways to improve the Legion's public image and managing all information and coordinating all projects at the Legion level. The PRO also serves as the immediate supervisor to all Garrison level PROs, and is the manager of the Legion's PR forums. Chief among the duties of the PRO is to collect and submit letters of recognition and appreciation for inclusion on the website. The PRO serves as the executive editor of all Legion publications and video productions (with Command being the executive producers with ultimate approval rights reserved). Where feasible, the PRO should be the point of contact between the Legion's general membership and celebrities/VIPs.
Titles commonly used and recognized within the 501st Legion
Legion Commander (LCO) Legion Executive Officer (LXO) Garrison Commander (CO) Garrison Executive Officer (XO) Squad Leader (SLDR) Outpost Leader (OL) Administrative Officers (AO) - appointed by LCO to service the administrative needs of the club. AOs may also concurrently serve as unit leaders elsewhere in the Legion. Enlisted - standard rank for all 501st members unless appointed otherwise as above.
I. Legion Council Decisions regarding Legion policy and procedure are handled by the Legion Council, a body made up of the LCO, the LXO, the Legion's Administrative Staff, two representatives from each Garrison and one representative from each Outpost. This council is moderated by the Legion Commander. Legion members may bring issues of contention or concern before the Council through their Council representative (Garrison CO and 2nd seat designee or Outpost CO), or in cases where their problems are with their Council representatives, through any other member of the Council.
Issues of policy or contention brought before the Council should be deliberated for a period of two weeks. A call for an official vote on said matters requires the support of any three Council members. Upon a call to vote, Council members will have ten (10) days to cast their votes via the designated poll in the Council forums, which will be overseen by the Legion Captain of the Guard. Each member of the Council holds one vote (with the exception of Outpost COs with less than 12 members, which do not vote). Calls to vote can be on any topic.
J. Amendments to the charter may be proposed by any Council member (or general member via their Council representative). The outcome of any subsequent votes by the Council will be determined by simple majority. Approved proposals must be posted to the Legion membership in the General Discussion forum and a seven (7) day period opened for questions and comments, after which a ten (10) day poll and a simple majority vote decides if the proposed amendment is ratified.
Article V - Elections
A. The Legion Commander, garrison and outpost commanders, squad leaders, and detachment leaders are all elected positions within the Legion. All other positions are appointed by their respective commander or leader. Only those in good standing are eligible to run for and maintain an elected or appointed position. Elections for leadership positions are held once a year. Nominations for commander and leader offices may be made by any active member within that office's domain from 12:01am GMT on February 1st through 11:59pm GMT on February 7th. February 8th through February 17th are reserved for candidate Q&A (questions and answers). February 18th is reserved for candidates to post any closing statements. If no nominations are made for a particular office by 11:59pm GMT February 7th, the officers holding these positions will retain their positions.
Voting begins at 12:01am GMT on February 19th. Votes are cast via the Legion's official online ballot. The voting will be open for exactly one week (7 days) after which no more votes will be accepted (ending officially on midnight GMT February 25th). Winning candidates assume their positions at 12:01 GMT March 1st. Every active member in good standing may vote for their respective leaders. Members that are classified as inactive may not vote unless their status has been changed back to active before voting begins. Notice of upcoming elections will be posted on the main mailing list one week prior to the nomination period beginning. Notification of any elections to individual members is ultimately the job of garrison and outpost commanders for members in their region and detachment leaders for members in their detachments.
B. The Legion Commander is elected by popular vote of the entire Legion. The offices of garrison and outpost commander, squad leader, and detachment leader are all voted on by members of each respective unit by popular vote. Annual elections are mandatory for every unit. If no one challenges the current leader of a unit, an election may be waived. If a member of a unit suspects impropriety in a campaign or subsequent election within their unit, they may appeal to the Captain of the Guard, who may intervene or audit an election. All Legion administrative officers are appointed by the Legion Commander, each of whom must be confirmed via a poll by the Legion Council prior to taking office. No such confirmations are required at the garrison, outpost, squad, or detachment level.
For LCO: A minimum of 3 years of 501st membership. At least 1 year of service in either as a Garrison CO, Garrison XO, or Outpost CO position, "Second Council Seat" (SCS), or a Legion Office with a Council Seat (LMO, MBO, PRO, LWM). Be considered "in good standing" for the duration of membership for the entire year prior to election commencement. For Garrison CO: A minimum of 1 year of 501st membership. OR Prior experience on the Garrison's Executive Council/Command Staff. Be considered "in good standing" for the duration of membership for the entire year prior to election commencement.
For Squad Leader: A minimum of 6 months of 501st membership. Be considered "in good standing" for the duration of membership for the entire year prior to election commencement.
For Outpost CO: A minimum of 6 months of 501st membership (^except for an Outposts inaugural CO). *At its onset, a new Outpost may have a CO of any length of membership in the 501st. Be considered "in good standing" for the duration of membership for the entire year prior to election commencement.
For Detachment Leader: A minimum of 1 year of 501st membership. * Ownership of a costume covered by said Detachment. Having trooped in a costume covered by the Detachment within 1 year of the commencement of the election. Be considered "in good standing" for the duration of membership for the entire year prior to election commencement. (*In the case of a formation of a new detachment, a member who has all of the prerequisites listed, [b]except for the mandatory one year minimum membership, may be allowed to become a Detachment Leader at the discretion of the Legion Council via plurality vote)
C. In the event a commanding officer or leader of any unit is unable to continue in their office, that unit must hold an immediate election for a replacement. Said election will follow the schedule of 5 days for nominations, 5 days for Q&A, and 5 days for voting [note: these time frames may be altered by the COG as necessary].During this time period the standing XO (if applicable) is the acting commander until the elections are completed. If there is no XO or both the CO and XO resign, the Legion Captain of the Guard will assume the role of commander or leader for that unit (with the exception of squads, which default to the CO) until the prescribed elections are completed, and will administrate said elections. A determination of inability to serve may be deduced from either voluntary self-removal or a period of 30 days of unresponsiveness in office
D. Any unit of the Legion (including the Legion itself) may redress problems in leadership by calling for a vote of no confidence of their elected leader. A call for no confidence against an outpost leader or squad leader requires only one member. A vote of no confidence against a garrison commander or detachment leader requires three members. A vote of no confidence against the Legion Commander requires five members, all of whom must be garrison commanders. If a call for a vote of no confidence is made, the Captain of the Guard will be called in to oversee the process and will temporarily assume command of the unit in question (with the exception of squads, which default to the CO). The COG will open a forum for 5 days to discuss the charges. After this, a poll will be opened for 5 days and a vote taken of the members of that unit (with the exception of squads, which includes the entire garrison's membership), with no minimum number of voters required. If at least two thirds of the voting members of that unit vote to remove their leader from office, they are immediately removed. Otherwise the officer will retain their office. If a vote of no confidence does result in a removal from office, the Captain of the Guard will administer a special election as prescribed above.
No officer may be called to a vote of no confidence more than twice in a single one-year term. A vote of no confidence can only come from the members of the unit whose leadership is in question. Appointed officers serve at the discretion of the elected official who appointed them, and are subject to being relieved of duty once the officer who appointed them is no longer in office. The incoming officer will have the option of retaining or replacing them.
With any election, in the event of a tie the poll will be reopened for three additional days in hopes that uncast votes will break the tie. In the event of no nominees or an unbreakable tie, the Legion Council will deliberate for 5 days and vote for 5 days to appoint a new interim leader for the unit in question until regular elections are held (with the exception of squads, which default to the CO for appointment).
Article VI - Code of Conduct
The 501st Legion recognizes that its costumes represent characters from the Star Wars films and as such, costume-wearers carry the responsibility of portraying these characters professionally and tastefully while in public. For these reasons, all members are prohibited from acting in a manner disrespectful towards the image they are portraying, towards fellow club members, or towards the public at large while in costume at an event expressly organized as a 501st event.
Foul language, obscene gestures, and use of alcohol or tobacco are prohibited while in costume in view of the public (children especially) as they jeopardize the club's image. Any convention or gathering where adult content is prevalent can be considered a private venue and a non-501st event and behavioral standards may be relaxed.
Acting in a threatening or violent manner, sexual harassment or misconduct, theft, and illegal substance abuse are all prohibited as they are unacceptable behavior. This applies to members in or out of costume at 501st events or otherwise.
In short, crude behavior is discouraged; threatening behavior is prohibited completely. Members who engage in such conduct may be subject to disciplinary action, including expulsion from the 501st Legion.
This code is not meant to restrict freedom, but to give fair warning what behaviors may require action to correct. When out of costume, members are still required to observe reasonable behavioral standards towards fellow club members, as these actions affect one another. Your private life is your own.
Article VII - Event Classifications and Costuming Standards
A. EVENT CLASSIFICATIONS - Events in the Legion typically occur in local areas, and as such are local events. There are, however, also events that qualify as Legion events. The following definitions are provided to help clarify the differences between the two:
- Legion event. Any event in which participation transcends any one unit’s boundaries (i.e. an event that is not isolated to one location, such as a chain of stores in a large geographical area, or an event that is isolated to one location, but where participation is equally open to members outside of that unit’s ranks, to include casting calls). Ex: a Celebration, or coordinated chain store promotion.
- Local event. Any event where participation is contained within a unit, or outside members are simply invitees or attendees. Ex: any of the dozens of events done in local units each month.
- Casting Call. An event where selection is specified and/or screened, but eligibility is open to all or a region that that transcends any one unit’s boundaries. Ex: the Rose Parade.
- Cattle call. An event where any and all troopers or a specified list of general costumes are welcome to attend (i.e. invitees). Ex: Spike Scream Awards.
- Participant. Someone who is a featured, integral, or involved part of the event or programming, whether in costume or not. Ex: a Celebration committee member or volunteer.
- Attendee. Someone who is simply attending a public or open event (in costume or otherwise). Ex: a convention.
- Invitee. Someone from an outside unit who is invited to attend or participate in a local event. Ex: the Fiesta Bowl parade.
B. COSTUMING STANDARDS - The 501st Legion promotes creating, owning, and wearing the costumes of the Imperial Forces and denizens as featured in the Star Wars films and expanded universe. To capture the magic of these characters, the goal will always be the accurate presentation and portrayal of these costumes. However, we recognize that this hobby centers around fun and creativity. Therefore, the 501st makes allowances for the creative modification of these costumes within the confines of decency (defined as being without profane or vulgar features or statements and must be viewable by young children).
An official 501st Event is defined as a gathering of one or more active 501st members with a specific goal (i.e. fundraising, promotion, awareness) that does not adversely affect the intellectual property of LFL, where the members have identified themselves as representatives of the 501st Legion. Different events, however, may call for different standards. For this reason, two categories are identified to help 501st members recognize what standards will be in place for any given event, whether hosted by or attended by members of the 501st. These categories are “formal/canon” and “informal/non-canon.”
C. FORMAL/CANON - Costumes must be accurate, authentic-looking Imperial or denizen costumes from the movies or licensed media (games, books, etc.). Costumes must be devoid of stickers, ornamentation, or any other decoration not found on the original costumes. Costumes must be complete, containing all parts in good working order and appearance (unless item is supposed to be worn or deteriorated). If a member has a question whether his or her costume meets the specifications of a formal/canon costume, they should refer to the Costume Reference Library (CRL) information for the costume, or contact their GML. Formal/canon events include any event involving Lucasfilm or its affiliates, or any other event where formal presentation is expressly asked for, expected, or required. An example of this would be escorting celebrities associated with Star Wars. This would be considered an official event, as it calls for our members to represent the Legion in formal dress (unless the event organizer has specified that informal/non-canon costumes are acceptable).
D. INFORMAL/NON-CANON - Costumes may be authentic, canon costumes or non-authentic, non-canon costumes never seen in any licensed Star Wars media, and may be decorated and ornamented as the owner desires (again, within the confines of decency as previously defined). Costumes can be painted alternate color schemes, adorned with stickers or cosmetic changes, or supplemented with articles not found in licensed media. Informal events include public parties or conventions or wherever members of the 501st are not officially representing the club.
- The default for any public appearance of the 501st is informal/non-canon.
- The Legion’s code of conduct applies at ALL events, formal or informal.
- Events must be designated formal/canon for those standards to apply.
- The final decision on the applicable costuming standard for a given event is left to the LCO for Legion events or the CO for local events, with full consideration being given to the event organizer.
Article VIII - Merchandising and Promotional Standards
A. It is recognized that any organization requires promotion on some level to help it grow. It is also recognized that the 501st Legion is a club based on a copyrighted property and has no legal rights to profit from the sales of merchandise bearing images or ideas from the Star Wars property. Consequently, it is agreed that whatever merchandise or promotional materials are created to advertise the 501st Legion will be sold only to members within the Legion and at cost. 501st merchandise or promotional materials are not to be sold to the general public. All promotional materials will meet the following guidelines before being approved by the club. All materials not abiding by these guidelines will be considered unauthorized and forbidden to all members of the 501st Legion. Any member producing and/or distributing unauthorized Legion material will be eligible for disciplinary action by the Legion CO and/or XO and could face expulsion, as decided by the Legion Council. Members wearing unauthorized Legion materials at official events shall be directed to remove these items, and if members fail to comply, said members will be eligible for disciplinary action by the Legion CO and/or XO and could face expulsion.
It is also stated that the Legion does not endorse the creation of props, costumes, or materials for sale to others. Any items created are for the express use of the creator. No provisions are made for the creation, sales, purchases, trades, or exchanges of any kind of costumes, props, or materials. Legion rules do not extend to any disputes related to these matters.
B. 501st Promotional Items Set of Standards
This set of standards includes any item, print, or paraphernalia that bears the 501st Legion name, logo, or URL.
1 - Any items bearing the words "501st Legion", "Fighting 501st", "Vader's Fist", the 501st Logo, or the club URLs are considered representative of the 501st Legion club. Such proposed items are to be submitted to the Merchandising and Branding Officer, who shall be responsible for the review and approval of any proposed merchandise of the Legion or any subdivision therein. The Merchandising and Branding Officer may impose additional regulations governing the production and/or distribution of such merchandise and make them available to the Legion. In the case of questionable material, the Legion Council has final word on approval.
2 - 501st items must be free of vulgarity.
3 - 501st items must be as free of copyrighted material as possible (including use of unmodified LFL photos or artwork).
4 - 501st items must be sold only to club members and at cost except in sanctioned cases of fundraising approved by the Merchandising and Branding Officer and/or LFL.
5 - 501st items must not be advertised anywhere open to the general public.
6 - 501st items must not be tied to any outside commercial entity or venture without the express permission of LFL.
7 - 501st items must not misrepresent or misidentify its user/wearer in any role other than as a member or supporter of the 501st Legion fan club. No shirt will bear the label "Security" or "Staff" unless created with the full permission of an event organizer and labeled specifically for that event only.
8 - 501st items specifying a sub-unit of the club are allowed and encouraged. Such examples would be items promoting 501st Garrisons, Squads, and Detachments.
Article IX - Disciplinary Action
A. In situations where the Legion.s standards of conduct are violated, it is an unfortunate necessity to address them. While the Legion recognizes that membership is voluntary and should be fun, it also recognizes that there must be some protection afforded its members from abuse and injustice. To this end, the Legion adheres to the following prescription for disciplinary action.
B. All commanders are expected to enforce the rules of the Legion in their respective jurisdictions. Any member behaving in an unacceptable manner or violating the tenets of this Charter is subject to disciplinary action. This process generally begins at the local unit level. Disputes within squads or detachments must be handled by the commander(s) of the disputing parties at the local level. Barring any involvement or clear conflict of interest on their part, commanders are expected to handle disciplinary issues within their units and not simply pass them on to the Legion to handle
C. Any current member may bring a charge against another member of the Legion. Said charge(s) must be brought to the attention of their immediate commander, who should assess the validity of the charge and if founded, initiate an Administrative Action Record and take appropriate action. This action may or may not be a formal hearing. Parties in a hearing or other disciplinary action will be identified and classified as follows:
NOTICE: the use of familiar legal terms or phrases is for the purpose of reasonable familiarity only, and is not suggestive of any actual legal rights or prescriptions under your local laws or judicial practices.
- Defendant: the person accused of wrong-doing. There may be multiple defendants. In such cases, they may be given separate hearings or, if the defendants agree, take part in a joint hearing. Joint hearings are preferred when and where possible.
- Plaintiff: the person bringing the complaint to the Legion. This person may or may not personally be a victim of the offense(s) in question.
- Victim: a person directly harmed by the defendant.s action(s). There may be more than one victim in any given case.
- Witness: someone who has personal information relevant to the charge(s). This information may be direct or ancillary. Witnesses may be called by either party in a hearing, or may be called by the presiding officer.
- Presiding officer: the chief hearing officer and panel foreman. This is typically the local commander. It may also be the Legion COG in Legion cases or local cases that have been elevated to the Legion level. In cases not warranting a hearing, this is the foreman of any deliberation.
- Hearing panel: those tasked with a judging role in the hearing. This panel is typically (but not necessarily) comprised of all of the local unit officers. In cases not warranting a hearing, this is the deliberating body. All members of this panel must be detached from the situation and able to render an unbiased opinion in the matter.
- Observer: anyone who is given access to a hearing, but does not have a direct role in it. The Legion COG (or an assigned Legion Guard) must be given this status and subsequent access in all hearings. Observers may also be other concerned unit members, or may even be members of outside units.
In the event a conflict or complaint involves members of different units, the commander of the primary plaintiff serves as the presiding officer and holds a combined hearing with a panel comprised of officers from all involved units. If one of the parties involved in a dispute is an officer of the unit, the hearing must be either conducted locally by the Legion COG (or an assigned Guard), or must be escalated to the Legion level and overseen by the COG.
During a hearing, testimony is given by all parties and supplemental witnesses according to the procedure outlined in the Administrative Action Record. A hearing must run for a minimum of seven full days and may not be shortened for any reason without the prior consent of the Legion.s COG. The presiding officer may close the proceedings at any time after the prescribed minimums have been met. Once the hearing is closed, the presiding officer must poll the hearing panel for a disposition. A simple-majority vote determines this disposition, to include any punishment and/or required restitution or reparations.
The official Administrative Action Record must be completed by the presiding officer, detailing all testimony, the vote results (listing the identities of all members who voted), and the final verdict (to include details of any punishment or restitutions, including timeframes). This completed form must be submitted to the Legion COG within one week of the close of the hearing.
A defendant may file an appeal of the verdict and/or their subsequent punishment. To do so they must submit a formal request to appeal (page 14 of the Administrative Hearing Form) to the COG and LCO within thirty (30) days from the date they were notified of the verdict. The combined Legion officers will review all appeals (under the direction of the COG). The determination of this Legion-level appeal is final.
- A statistical summary of all hearings is to be maintained by the Legion COG and be displayed for the membership at large via the Legion forums "Reports" feature.
- The official Administrative Action Record for all hearings are maintained by the Legion COG, and are always available to any member of the Council at all times.
- No member may be removed from the member database or from the Legion without the knowledge and approval of the LCO, LMO and COG.