NOTE: THIS IS A DRAFT DOCUMENT AND DOES NOT REFLECT THE CURRENT OPERATING GUIDELINES OF THE 501st LEGION.
The Operations Protocol is a supplemental set of rules, guidelines, and instructions for day-to-day operations of the 501st Legion. The Operations Protocol acts as the bylaws of the organization, as referenced in the Legion Charter.
Section 1: 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 any event where the 501st Legion or its sub-units and members are participants.
Membership in the 501st Legion is a privilege granted by this private club, not a social or legal right.
The 501st Legion maintains that part of the fun of trooping is to be able to do so in reasonable safety. It is the intention of the Legion to provide an outline of behavior wherein it has a Code of conduct for the safety and security of its members. Violations of the code of conduct listed below as items 1 through 5 as determined by a hearing or other incontrovertible evidence will result in immediate termination of membership.
The policy encompasses those behaviors thought by society to be violent, illegal, or anti-social in nature. It is not the intent of the Legion to abridge the standard rights or practices of the individual member, but rather to protect all members from the defined behavior of any member engaging in such behavior. In any event, common sense must prevail.
There are, however, other behaviors that do not require such extreme actions. It is the intent of the Legion to reduce the number of cases requiring removal where other less extreme actions can and will suffice.
- Violent or threatening acts against a member of the 501st Legion. These acts are defined as:
- Physically striking another member with the intent to cause bodily harm with or without cause, unless defending one’s self from a violent attack.
- Threatening harm against the person or property of an individual via phone/ voice mail, forum, electronic social media or in writing. (Threats must be direct and unmistakable to the average person)
- Cease and Desist orders or other legal action or documents issued by a member’s attorney due to justified and properly documented disciplinary action by the GCO or LCOG.
- Trooping under the influence of an illegal substance. These acts are defined as:
- Arriving to a troop under the influence of a Illegal substance.
- Use, distribution, or administration of an illegal substance during a 501st event.
- Violent or sexual acts against children. These acts are defined as:
- Physically striking a member of the public under the age of consent.
- Sexual advances, or sexual acts engaged with a member of the public under the age of consent.
- Embezzlement of funds intended for charitable donation. While the 501st's official policy is that all funds intended for charity must be submitted by the donor directly to the charity of choice, it has been concluded that in some rare occasions, money will be given directly to a representative of the 501st. Embezzlement is defined as:
- Failing to ensure that funds are submitted to the receiving charity within three business weeks following the event.
- Failing to ensure that funds are submitted to the receiving charity.
- Spending funds intended for charitable donations on personal or group expenses, including but not limited to patches, coins, cards, and personal expenses including and not limited to any expense which can be viewed as a "living expense."
- Undisclosed criminal history, which involve the following types of criminal history:
- Felony drug offenses
- Sex offender registry entry
- Felony embezzlement.
- Felony violent crimes
If a member is found guilty of any of the above listed items of the Code of Conduct, he or she has the option to submit an appeal to the Legion Captain of the Guard within one week after notification of the termination of membership.
Undisclosed Criminal History will result in a default discharge upon presentation of incontrovertible proof of criminal history. Discharging the member for an undisclosed criminal history falls exclusively to the Legion Captain of the Guard with the mutual consent of the Legion Commanding Officer and Legion Executive Officer. An e-mail must be sent to the Garrison Commanding Officer if this clause applies to a member of his or her Garrison. Discharge of said member must occur within a reasonable time frame upon discovery and confirmation.
Hearings for Major Offenses
If a hearing is required for a major offense, a poll will be set up in the hearing forum by the Legion Captain of the Guard. The poll for this type of hearing will include the following options:
A simple-majority of those voting will be needed to obtain a decision in a Major Offense hearing. If exoneration is chosen by those voting in the hearing poll, the member will automatically be placed on 1 to 2 year probation at the discretion of the Legion Captain of the Guard.
Conduct Unbecoming a Trooper
Legion members are expected to treat each other, our event sponsors, the public, and LucasFilm, Ltd. with common sense and respect. Examples of inappropriate behavior that may result in disciplinary action include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Harassment of fellow members.
- Merchandise and branding infractions
- Abuse or violation of message board privileges
- Inappropriate behavior during trooping or unit events
- Inappropriate contact with an event host, sponsor, or LFL
- Misrepresentation of a unit or the Legion
In an organization as large as ours, disputes and disagreements are bound to occur. With this in mind, the Legion requires that any disputes of a minor or semi-major degree must be resolved. Determination of the mechanism for dispute resolution resides with the Legion Captain of the Guard, the Legion Commanding Officer and the Garrison Commanding Officer. The policy in reference to Alternative Dispute Resolution is contained below.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Alternative dispute resolution is used when a disagreement arises between two or more members that could escalate into a Charter violation. The Captain of the Guard, Commanding Officer, or Command Staff may recommend moderated mediation. All parties involved must agree to actively participate in good faith in the process in order for Alternative Dispute Resolution to be effective.
The procedure for Alternative Dispute Resolution is as follows:
- The Member(s) or Garrison Commanding Officer must submit a request for a hearing room in writing to the Legion Captain of the Guard.
- The Legion Captain of the Guard and/or either or both Legion Commanding Officer or Legion Executive Officer will monitor and moderate all discussions occurring in a private hearing room on the Legion Forum.
- Members are free to discuss their issues without prejudice.
- The Legion Captain of the Guard, Legion Commanding Officer, or Legion Executive Officer will provide methods to enable resolution.
- Resolution may be:
- mutual agreement of the parties involved
- an arbitrated settlement proposed by the COG, LCO, LXO and accepted by the Members involved in the dispute.
- Failing Alternative Dispute Resolution, the command staff or the affected member may request a disciplinary hearing only after all other avenues have been exhausted.
Disciplinary Hearing Procedure
- A written complaint is filed with the Garrison command, and the Legion Captain of the Guard.
- The Legion Captain of the Guard will investigate and assess the merits of the charges.
- The Legion Captain of the Guard, upon satisfactory determination of merit, will open a hearing forum on the Main Legion Forums.
- At a time determined by the Captain of the Guard, the discussion phase of the hearing will be closed.
- The COG will then open the hearing poll.
During the course of any Legion hearing except under circumstances which have been previously outlined in the Legion Code of Conduct, a poll will be conducted at the conclusion of the proceedings. The poll will be presented to the complainants, and must contain the following options
For first offenses:
- Six month probation
- One year probation
- 6 Month suspension
- 1 Year suspension
- 2 year suspension
For second offenses
- 1 Year suspension
- 2 year suspension
- All disciplinary actions taken by the Garrison Commanding Officer must have the approval of and notification provided to the Legion Captain of the Guard
- The Legion Captain of the Guard, Legion Commanding Officer and Legion Executive Officer must be made aware of any appeal in writing.
- All hearings and alternative dispute resolution meetings must take place on the Legion Forums in a private area sectioned off for such purposes.
- Any member may appeal disciplinary actions at the local level to the Legion Captain of the Guard.
In order to protect the Legion and its membership from involvement in real-world legal proceedings, the Legion will not be involved in any legal action between or involving members and may take action necessary to protect the safety of the Legion and the membership. Any such actions will be at the discretion of the Captain of the Guard with the consent of the Legion Commanding Officer and may include placing members on temporary Administrative Leave and suspending Legion Hearings until such real-world legal proceedings are complete.
Administrative leave will be the functional equivalent of "Retired Status" and will end when the member has finished their involvement in the legal proceedings. Once returned to active status, the member will have six months grace period to troop if they wish to remain on active status.
The use of Administrative Leave is not intended to impact a member's status negatively or permanently and is only meant to be used as a temporary action to protect the Legion and its membership from undue involvement in legal proceedings.
Section 2: Membership
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 as recorded in the Legion Census. One year is defined as the period from Legion Census to Legion Census. 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.
A member may retain active status, even if they do not meet all of the requirements listed above at the discretion of their unit Commanding Officer or Legion Command.
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.
- 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.
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 as the period from Legion Census to Legion Census.
all of the requirements of an Active Member, except for the annual costumed participation in a 501st Legion event, as defined above. A Reserve Member may still participate in a supporting role for the Garrison or Legion once per census year as defined above. 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 Garrison Commanding Officer as qualifying activities or contributions.
A Reserve Member is eligible to: 1. Have limited access on 501st.com & Legion forums. 2. Have access to Garrison/Outpost planning forums and public or semi-private discussion areas. 3. Have access to Detachment forums. 4. 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: 1. Vote in unit or legion polls or elections. 2. Run for office or accept an officer or administrative position. 3. Buy or create 501st or Unit merchandise. 4. Participate in limited access events or requests. 5. Retain full access on the Legion Forums. 6. 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.
A Retired Member is defined as a member in good standing who (one or more of the following): 1. Does not have an active costume or does not own a 501st approved costume. 2. 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. 3. Has been listed as Reserve Duty for more than one year, and has not actively contributed to the Legion via non-costumed activity during that time. 4. Leaves the Legion voluntarily. A Retired Member is eligible to: 1. Retain a displayable legion profile with .Retired. indicator. 2. Return to active status via a written request, re-approval of their costume, and completion of or immediately pending completion of a troop. 3. 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: 1. Vote in unit or legion polls or elections. 2. Run for office or accept an officer or administrative position. 3. Buy or create 501st Legion or Unit merchandise. 4. Coordinate official 501st events. 5. Participate in limited access events or requests. 6. Access main legion forums. 7. 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. 8. Have their picture posted in the 501st.com membership section. 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. 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: 1. Vote in any 501st Legion poll or election. 2. Run for and/or hold elected or appointed offices in the 501st Legion (including Detachment Leadership). 3. Purchase or create official 501st Legion or Unit merchandise. 4. Have their picture and/or profile displayed on 501st.com. 5. Coordinate/host official 501st events. 6. Participate in official 501st events and functions. 7. Have access to the 501st Legion or Legion Unit forums. 8. Members who are discharged shall have a record of the discharge noted in members profile. 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: 1. Their identification number preserved and not reissued. 2. Their profiles, minus contact information, displayed perpetually on the 501st.com Eternal Legionnaires page. Honorary Member Definition: Honorary Members are special members who have contributed their time, skills and talents to the Star Wars saga in some special way and have been recognized by the Legion for their efforts and contributions while working on the Star Wars universe. Honorary members must be nominated by an active 501st member to the Legion through a Garrison, or Detachment. An Honorary Member is eligible to: 1. Have their picture and/or profile displayed on 501st.com in the honorary membership section. 2. Participate in official 501st events (i.e. charity benefits, celebrity appearances, guest escorts, etc). 3. Have access to the 501st legion message boards and applicable unit messages boards. 4. Purchase official 501st / member-only merchandise. An Honorary Member is NOT eligible to: 1. Vote in unit or legion polls or elections. 2. Run for office or accept an officer or administrative position. 3. Run for and/or hold elected or appointed offices in the 501st. Friend of the Legion Member Definition: Friends of the Legion are Individuals or organizations who may not have specifically worked for Lucasfilm, but who have shown tremendous support of the 501st Legion and Star Wars fandom are eligible to become Friends of the Legion. Friends of the Legion must be nominated by an active 501st member to the Legion through a Garrison, or Detachment. A Friend of the Legion Member is eligible to: 1. Have their picture and/or profile displayed on 501st.com in the honorary membership section. 2. Participate in official 501st events (i.e. charity benefits, celebrity appearances, guest escorts, etc). 3. Have access to the 501st legion message boards and applicable unit messages boards. 4. Purchase official 501st / member-only merchandise. A Friend of the Legion Member is NOT eligible to: 1. Vote in unit or legion polls or elections. 2. Run for office or accept an officer or administrative position. 3. Run for and/or hold elected or appointed offices in the 501st.