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Command Survival Guide

Legion Structure

The Legion is organized in the following manner:

  • Legion
    • Legion Command
      • Legion Executive Officers
      • Legion Staff Officers
      • Legion Command Staff
    • Legion Council
      • Garrison Council Representatives and Outpost Leaders
  • Garrison and Squads
    • Garrison Executive Officers
    • Garrison Staff Officers
    • Garrison Staff
  • Outposts
    • Outpost Leader
    • Outpost Staff
  • Detachments
    • Detachment Executive Officers
    • Detachment Staff

Legion Command

Legion Officers

A. Legion Commanding Officer (LCO): The LCO is the top administrator and president of the club. The LCO appoints an administrative staff to assist with club operations, which may include but are not limited to formulating policies, moderating the Legion Council, and organizing partnerships with outside parties.

B. Legion Executive Officer (LXO): The LXO assist the LCO in club operations as a vice-president. The LXO may perform duties as assigned by the LCO, and reserves the authority to act as club president in the absence of the LCO.

C. Legion Captain of the Guard (COG): The COG is the operations manager of the club Responsibilities include interpreting and enforcing club rules, serving as an impartial mediator for disputes among members or officers, overseeing disciplinary hearings, moderating Legion elections, and maintaining the Legion map of units.

D. Legion Membership Officer (LMO): The LMO is responsible for reviewing and processing applications for membership and maintaining member information in the Legion database. The LMO drives costume policies, including acceptable costume types for membership and quality control of costume subimissions.

E. Legion Webmaster (LWM): The LWM manages all Legion Web resources and advises unit Webmasters.

F. Legion Merchandising and Brand Officer (MBO): The MBO oversees all Legion merchandise operations, including those of local units. The MBO ensures that all merchandise projects adhere to rules and guidelines that govern use of images, pricing, and distribution.

G. Legion Public Relations Officer (PRO): The PRO serves as the Legion's advocate and primary point of contact with the public and outside parties. The PRO serves as the executive editor of all Legion publications and multimedia productions. The office of the PRO also serves as the primary point of contact for celebrities and VIPs.

H. Legion Charity Representative (LCR): The LCR serves as the Legions primary contact with national and international charitable organizations and institutions. The LCR also serves as the primary coordinator and auditor of the Legion Charitable activities and contributions. The office of the LCR, in conjunction with the PRO edits and maintains the Legion's public charity announcements and Legion charity web pages on .

I. Collectively, the officers listed here are referred to as "Legion Command."

Garrisons, Squads and Outposts are the local “chapters” of the legion. Garrisons and Outposts are typically set up along regional boundaries. Squads are sub-units of a garrison. A Garrison or Outpost will be your primary unit within the Legion, you may also chose to be affiliated with a squad if one is located in your area. The Garrison structure is similar to that of the Legion with a CO, XO, GML, GWL, GPRO, etc.and their roles are identical to those at the Legion level only focused on their local area.

Garrison, Squad and Outpost Operations

Garrisons, Squads and Outposts are the local “chapters” of the legion. Garrisons and Outposts are typically set up along regional boundaries. Squads are sub-units of a garrison. A Garrison or Outpost will be you primary unit within the Legion, you may also chose to be affiliated with a squad if one is located in your area.

The Garrison structure is similar to that of the Legion with a CO, XO, GML, GWL, GPRO, etc. and their roles are identical to those at the Legion level only focused on their local area.

Squads are an administrative sub-unit of the Garrison in regions that are either geographically vast or where there is a high concentration of troopers within a Garrison. Squads are led by a Squad Leader who is a member of the Garrison Command Staff and reports to the Garrison.

Outposts are similar to a Garrison but are in regions where there is not a sufficient membership to form a Garrison. Typically Outposts only have a CO who performs all the administrative duties for their area. These units exist to facilitate the mission of the Legion and to assist you in your goals as a Legion member. The Garrison command is responsible for the organization and coordination of events and the promotion of the Legion at a local level. As an active trooper you should expect to be treated with respect, asked to fill supporting roles in the garrison as needed and to be contacted regularly by the Garrison command, either directly or through the garrison forums about events and activities in your local area and the regions around your Garrison. You should also expect to be kept up to date on Legion level activity and issues being discussed at Legion level.

Garrison Command

Garrison Commanding Officer: (GCO or CO) The Garrison Commanding Officer is elected by the Garrison membership. The GCO is the chief administrator of the Garrison and is responsible for the smooth operations of the Garrison and the coordination of events. The GCO also appoints the Garrison Officers and Staff, administers local forum rules and the Legion Charter and Code of Conduct. The Garrison Commanding Officer is typical the principal representative of the Garrison Membership on the Legion Council.

Garrison Executive Officer: (GXO or XO) The GXO is appointed by the Garrison Commanding Officer. The GXO may perform duties as assigned by the GCO, and reserves the authority to act as Commanding Officer in the absence of the Garrison Commanding Officer.

Second Council Seat Typically the Garrison Executive Officer is the Second representative of the Garrison Membership on the Legion Council. However, the Garrison Commanding Officer may appoint a different officer or Garrison member to the position of Second Seat.

Garrison Membership Liaison: (GML) The GML is appointed by the Garrison Commanding Officer. The Garrison membership Liaison is responsible for reviewing and processing applications for membership and maintaining Garrison member information in the Legion database. The GML work in conjunction with the Legion Membership Liaison. For more information on the duties and responsibilities of the Garrison Membership Liaison see the GML Survival Guide.

Garrison Public Relations Officer: (GPRO) The GPRO is appointed by the Garrison Commanding Officer.

Garrison Web Liaison: (GWL) The GWL is appointed by the Garrison Commanding Officer.

Garrison Web Master: (GWM) The GWM is appointed by the Garrison Commanding Officer.

Garrison Merchandise and Branding Officer: (GMBO) The GMBO is appointed by the Garrison Commanding Officer.

Event Captains and Event Coordinators: (GEC) The GECs are appointed by the Garrison Commanding Officer.

Squad Leaders: (SL) Squad Leaders are elected by their Squad membership.

Squad Executive Officer: (SXO) The Squad Executive Officer is appointed by the Squad Leader and the Garrison Commanding Officer.

Additional Staff as appointed by the Garrison Commanding officer may include: Garrison Captain of the Guard, Garrison Armorer, Forum Moderators, New Member Mentors, etc.


As stated earlier a Squad is an administrative sub-unit of a Garrison and as such functions to support the garrison as a whole by assisting in organizing and managing events within a localized regional area with the garrison.

A Squad may be formed if at least ten (10) members wish to create a Squad and apply for Squad status. 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 Garrison Command Officers and Staff for deliberation and a subsequent vote on whether or not to approve the unit. If approved by the Garrison Command, the Garrison membership must vote to ratify their leadership's decision and confirm the first Squad Leader. Subsequent Squad Leaders are elected by the membership of the squad during the Legion's normal election cycle.

For more information on the formation of a Squad see the Legion Charter.

The Squad application can be found here: Squad Application Form.

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 to Garrison Command.
  • 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.

Additional Notes:

  • A Squad Leader may 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 Command and the Legion Council and Legion Command.
  • A Squad Leader also has no disciplinary authority. Disciplinary issues remain the purview of the Garrison CO and the Legion Captain of the Guard.
  • A Vote of No Confidence (VoNC) may be requested by any member of the squad and/or any member of the parent Garrison's Command Staff. A subsequent VoNC poll would include the garrison's membership at large.
  • Squad merchandise must be approved by the Garrison CO and Garrison MBO before being presented to the Legion 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. The Squad forum or sub forums should be open to all Garrison members.

A note from the Founder

When any organization grows, there have to be stress points installed to keep it flexible enough to keep it from becoming unwieldy or collapsing under its own weight. In 1998 I realized as quickly as we were growing, there would be no way to keep the group together with the distances separating our members unless we sub-divided. The roads back to Rome were getting too long to expect absolute loyalty. A local chapter would allow members to solve the two problems of how to let members focus their work on something local they could take pride in AND stay with the group so we could accomplish something bigger. So the concept of Garrisons began.

Now Squads were the next evolutionary step in the sub-division scheme. Within any Garrison, it became apparent that large geographical hurdles were keeping troopers from consistently getting together and forming the bonds they needed to feel like a team. Also, in any group that hits a certain size (a critical mass that is hard to quantify), conflicts arise and there is a need to 'build good fences' to make good neighbors. Squads solved this problem, by allowing very local groups (in terms of a city or a region of a state) to pool their resources and make a bigger impact on their local area. The idea, again is to be two-fold: allow pride in one's own local accomplishments while still answering to a larger group that offers more strength in numbers.

The success of the Legion has had its drawbacks. In the cases of many Squads, or prospective Squads, the feeling isn't so much to focus one's efforts for your local community as it has been to find a way to alienate a Garrison CO you don't care much about and form your own cabal of friends. This concept is absurd and patently wrong. While allowing a smaller group the chance to erect good fences in the name of better relations, it should not be an excuse to build walls. My opinion is very clear on this: no Squad should be formed to escape the local Garrison. Your Garrison CO is still YOUR BOSS and you still answer to him/her. A Squad should be formed only to help boost the Legion in a local area and add to the value of the Garrison. It is not about circling wagons in the hope of avoiding accountability. This has been one of the biggest problems in the Legion in recent years. I am hoping this message connects with someone.

-Albin Johnson - TK-210 Founder

Outpost Command

Outpost Leader: (OL) The Outpost Commanding Officer is elected by the Outpost membership.

Outpost Membership Liaison: (OML) The OML is appointed by the Outpost Commanding Officer.

Outpost Public Relations Officer: (OPRO) The OPRO is appointed by the Outpost Commanding Officer.

Outpost Web Liaison: (OWL) The OWL is appointed by the Outpost Commanding Officer.

Outpost Web Master: (OWM) The OWM is appointed by the Outpost Commanding Officer.

Outpost Merchandise and Branding Officer: (OMBO) The OMBO is appointed by the Outpost Commanding Officer.

Event Captains and Event Coordinators: (OEC) The OECs are appointed by the Outpost Commanding Officer.

Additional Staff as appointed by the Outpost Commanding officer may include: Outpost Armorer, Forum Moderators, New Member Mentors, etc.

Since Outposts are typically small units with only a few members most Outposts do not fill all the potential positions. The Outpost Leader will often handle the duties of all of the “command positions” (Membership Liaison, Public Relations, Merchandise, etc.)

Legion Responsibilities

Web Page and forum Forums

Since the 501st Legion is a virtual organization the unit web page and forum are vital components of the unit operations. The web page is the public face of the garrison / outpost and as such should present a professional and informative image of your unit and the Legion.

Unit Web Page

Unit Forums

Most Unit forums are set up in this way:


  • Public - Viewable to anyone.
    • Basic information on the mission of the detachment, forum registration requirements and how to register.
  • Members (Registered Forum Members) - open to the general public.
    • Forum Rules, and Standard Operations procedure (S.O.P.)
    • Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
    • General Discussion threads, Sale & Trade, etc.
    • Trooping reports and photos - Post troop write-ups and event photos.
  • 501st Only - open only to 501st members
    • 501st Merchandise
    • 501st Event Planning
    • 501st Sale and Trade
    • Other Legion Only Information and Discussions
  • Garrison / Outpost Only - open only to 501st members who have a valid, current costume that is covered by that detachment. This is needed for det-only Q&A on elections, if for no other reason but is also used for the reasons you cite when applicable.

The only real need for a garrison / outpost member only area is for:

  1. Elections
  2. Polls on unit operations, merchandise, local rules and procedures, etc.
  3. Garrison Only Merchandise (if any)


  • Admin Only- an area where staff, moderators and webmaster can disucss issues in private
  • Command Only - an area for unit command to discuss and plan Garrison / Outpost issues before bringing them to the entire unit. This area is useful for merchandise planning, disciplinary issues, special event pre planning and operational issues.
  • Archive
  • Tutorials
  • Work in progress (wip) and armor "show off" threads.
  • Joint Operations - For units that also host our sister organization, the Rebel Legion, you may wish to have a joint operations area open to both 501st and RL members to facilitate planning and coordination. Typically if your Garrison / Outpost choses to host RL members and operations on your forum the following threads will be viewable by both memberships.
  1. 501st Only - open only to 501st members
    1. 501st Merchandise
    2. 501st Event Planning
    3. 501st Sale and Trade
  2. General Discussion

Some areas of the forum must be public and open to general inspection by the public at large Such as up coming event announcements (not planning and sign up). Frequently asked questions (FAQ), Forum Rules, and Standard Operations procedure (S.O.P.)


Honorary Members

As the Legion grows, we continue to add new Honorary Members and Friends of the Legion. This is a good time to point out some rules to the process that will avoid confusion, miscommunication, and hurt feelings.

  • Honorary Memberships are valid for any actor, author, musician, artist, or professional who has had a direct impact on the Star Wars saga.
  • Honorary Friends of the Legion - valid for anyone of distinction who has contributed to or supported the 501st Legion in a distinguishable way.
  • All sponsorship applications begin by emailing Legion Command at
  • All sponsorship requests imply that you will pay the cost of the plaque (arrange with Damien Metz, give him ample lead-time to make it and ship it)
    • you have a time-frame in the immediate future to presenting it live to the person (don't just sit on the sponsorship for months or years)
    • you will try to contact the celebrity's agent to give them advance notice of the presentation so that it goes smoothly
  • Arrange for a hi-resolution picture to be taken of the event, hopefully with plenty of 501st members visible in the background

If you cannot present the award personally and an opportunity comes up where someone else can, you will send the plaque to them and allow them to carry out the induction (your name will still be listed as the sponsor on the 501st website)

  • If you want to induct someone as an Honorary Member of your Garrison, PLEASE MAKE SURE THEY ARE ALREADY AN HONORARY 501ST LEGION MEMBER or FRIEND OF THE LEGION FIRST!!!

Inducting a celebrity as a Garrison HM only causes confusion later if someone else wants to induct them into the Legion. Celebs may not know the difference and politely turn the offer down! THIS HAS HAPPENED - IT IS NOT GOOD!!!

  • When inducting a celebrity, make sure to provide some other swag and goodies and explain to them that the 501st is here for them, to help with with everything from airport pickups to dinners out at conventions to manning autograph tables.

We are a service organization and they need to know we're here for them!


  1. Name of inductee:
  2. Role/Contribution to Star Wars:
  3. Personal Website:
  4. Induction Date:
  5. Inducted By: (who was present at the induction, usually a unit name)
  6. Sponsor(s):
  7. Birthday: (be sure to ask so we can send them birthday wishes!)

The Honorary Membership program is a HUGE success because of the dedication of the Legion members in making it happen correctly. The celebrities truly appreciate it. Please help us continue this fine tradition by following the correct steps. If you have any questions, please feel free to email the Legion Public Relations Officer, or Legion Commanding Officer

Event Requests and Planning

Trooping Eligibility

There are typically two event classifications, canon and non-canon. A canon event is an event where the requesting organization requires a specific group of characters. Typically cannon events are either Original Trilogy (OT), Prequels (Clone Wars) or Clone Wars Animated Series.

For an OT event only screen accurate original trilogy characters will be allowed to participate in the event. For a canon Prequel event only screen accurate Clone Wars era costumes from the movies or television series will be allowed.

For a canon Animated Series event screen accurate Clone Wars era costumes may be allowed. Typically the sponsors of Clone Wars Animated Series events will have specific character type requests. You CO or event coordinator will post the requirements for canon Animated Series events as they have been provided by the event sponsor.

Non-canon events are everything else. Parades, hospital visits, parties, conventions, etc. The majority of the events the 501st Legion participates in are non-canon events. The event sponsor may request specific characters, in the absence of a specific request from the event sponsor for character limitations, all characters are eligible for non-canon events.

Screen accurate means unmodified armor, no custom paint schemes, no added badges, palderons, or overt identification or tags on the armor. Special note for Expanded Universe (EU) characters: Expanded universe characters are characters that are only documented in non-movie or television sources such as books, comics, graphic novels and video games. Some EU characters may be excluded from canon events at the request of the event sponsor.

Trooping opportunities come from several sources both official and informal.

  • Formal Event: Formal does not necessarily mean "canon" a formal event would be one where the event sponsor wishes to have all characters in traditional garb with out special additions. In other words special squads, such as "Alabama's Red Rain (They look like Sandtroopers but have non-canon palderons and color details) may still be acceptable to a sponsor but "Fem Troopers" and Kilted Troopers may not. If in doubt be sure to check with your event sponsor and post accordingly.
  • Informal Event"': Have FUN, Kilted troopers, Fem Troopers, Santa Hats, Leprechaun Hats, beads, zombie troopers, etc... all are allowed within the bounds of taste, go for it.

How a troop is orchestrated:

Most troops will should be posted on your Garrison Web Forums in the 501st Event Planning Area. Some, albeit very few, will be limited or 501st. only but for most events you will either be asked to invite the Rebel Legion or may decide to open the event to the RL or other groups in your area that you have a working relationship with, such as the Mando Mercs.

There may be specific call requirements for an event, set by the requesting organization such as 1-Vader, 6 Stromtroopers, arrive at 5:30 pm troop from 6:30 until 9:00pm…. Etc. Or an event may be a general call for as many troopers as the garrison can muster. The Garrison Command Staff should list all the requirements in the event posting.

Event Interest Post

  • Event Name
  • Date:
  • Time
  • Location (address)
  • Event Contact Name
  • Requested Number of Characters
  • Requested Character Types
  • Canon, Formal, Non-Canon, Informal
  • Sign Up Deadline or Date needed to commit to the event sponsor.
  • Event Coordinator: Internal Garrison event coordinator
  • List of interested Characters, TK-ID, Board Name, Real Name

Once you have interest in the event contact the event sponsor and work out any final details. The post should be changed or moved to an Active Event Sign up thread.

Event Signup Post"

  • Event Name
  • Date:
  • Time
  • Location (address)
  • Contact Name
  • Requested Number of Characters
  • Requested Character Types
  • Canon, Formal, Non-Canon, Informal
  • Event Coordinator: Internal Garrison event coordinator
  • List of Characters, TK-ID, Board Name, Real Name

At this time you may want to add Event Contact information, specifics about parking, changing areas, duration, etc.

  • Contact the Event Sponsor about a week before their event to finalize any coordination issues.

Event Requests

Troops are frequently generated through the Garrison or Squad command. They consist of events that are requested through the Legion request an appearance web page, direct requests from individuals and organizations to the command staff or direct requests or events organized by the Legion itself.

Legion Events are typically multi-garrison or large regional events such as national and international promotional events like the Cartoon Network Clone Wars television series or DK Star Wars book releases. National events often require a coordinated effort across many garrisons and will be locally coordinated by the garrison command staff. Frequently final event details are still being arranged up until a few days before the troop.

Garrison Sponsored Events

Local events are events organized one or more garrisons, squads, outposts, or individual members. They basically anything originated at the local level by the membership and may include parades, fundraising events, conventions, movie outings, etc. Local events are typically informal events are non-canon events. "special squads", such as Alabama's Red rain, all EU characters, and accessories are generally permitted.

Armor Parties

With the exception of the Star Wars Weekend parades at Disney World most parades are non-canon events. Parades are a wonderful opportunity to mass as many troopers as possible for a single event.

Typically, with the exception of fan or convention organized parades such as the Dragon Con Parade in Atlanta, you should only have one of each "face character" at the parade. (one Darth Vader, one Boba Fett, one Jango Fett, etc.)

Unless you have a sponsor, which will need to be approved by the Legion Command and Lucas Film, all parade fees and expenses need to be covered locally by your unit members.

Handlers are very important for parades. Handler parade duties typically include taking photographs of your troopers, picking up bits and pieces of dropped armor (watch for hand back plates and thermal detonators) and herding cats. Troopers like to interact with the crowd and my have a tendency to slow down or get side tracked by photo requests, Keep them moving.

Frequently a parade organizer will set specific rules and limits on non-costumed support personal. In a televised parade you may be requested to have your handlers march on a specific side of the troopers so as to minimize the possibility of you being in the television shot.


Merchandise Survival Guide

Charity and Fund Raising

Public Relations

For more detailed information and public relations guide lines see the Public Relations Survival Guide


When being interviewed by embers of the press, or independent media producers it is important to maintain the distinction between Lucas Film and the 501st Legion. While we are typically happy to grant interviews requests for interviews need to be evaluated to make sure that we will not be put into a situation where we may be requested to speak on topics not related to the 501st. Legion.

Lucas Film has requested that when conducting an interview we do so with "buckets off" to make a clear delineation between our membership and the characters we portray. For example it's appropriate for us to discuss specific charity involvement as a member but not appropriate for Darth Vader to say that "XYZ Foundation" is his favorite charity.

Interview Tips

  • Buckets off: Identify your self as a member of the 501st either by name or TK-ID.
  • Avoid controversial topics: No discussions of Religious or Political issues.
  • Promote the Legion is a favorable light.
  • Be Positive: Don't comment negatively on other Costuming Groups and Star Wars organizations.
  • We Build our own costumes: stress that our costumes are all fan made.

Talking Points

  • The Legion officially began in 1997.
  • We currently have over 5000 members.
  • The Legion currently occupies approximately 40 countries world wide.
  • The 501st Legion is a totally volunteer organization
  • How do I join: Visit
  • Discuss your Garrison troops and accomplishments.
  • Discuss your Detachment
  • Mention Kids and Fun.
  • We don't "get paid to troop" : Mention our charitable contributions and activities.

Dispute Resolution

Legion Charter

Legion Code of Conduct

Local Rules


Member Hearings

Vote of No Confidence

Disciplinary Actions


Kris Kuipers TK-6247, Scott Will TK-0408, Mark Haskell SL-3940, Jacques Languedoc TK-9966, Ed DaSilva TK-4878, Gustavo Canales SL-7784, Dean Plantamura TK-0899, Darren Blum TK-8399, Albin Johnson TK-210, Scott Allen TK-9854

Revised 6-04-2011 Krkonsult

Personal tools
The 501st Legion is a worldwide Star Wars costuming organization comprised of and operated by Star Wars fans. While it is not sponsored by Lucasfilm Ltd., it is Lucasfilm's preferred Imperial costuming group. Star Wars, its characters, costumes, and all associated items are the intellectual property of Lucasfilm. © & ™ Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.