Table of Contents

  1. Trooper of the Year
  2. Legend Award
  3. Trooper of the Month
  4. Honorary Members
  5. In Memoriam


Midwest Garrison Trooper Of The Year

2023 – Joe Bialek (tx41574) 41574
2022 – Greg Ladle (DZlaw) 28101
2021 – Rudy Grasha (FettSwatCop) 3620
2020 – Tim “Done” Dunne (Modal Nodes Roadie) 54750
2019 – Heather Dickinson (Faylyn) 66599
2018 – T.J. Wogonas (TacoSunday) 33431
2017 – Ted Ruler (RulerMaul) 36285
2016 – Ray Bosques (Rex Fett) 3499
2015 – Eric Werner (Blacksun) 41551
2014 – Ted Ruler (RulerMaul) 36285
2013 – Steve Gaza (Gazmosis) 4034
2012 – Cheryl Whitaker (Whinter) 3127
2011 – Chip Childress (SL 9965) 9965
2010 – Steve Szyndrowski (ID3052) 3025
2009 – Patrick Higgins (PQ Higgins) 3697


Midwest Garrison Legend Award

2022: Michael T. Tate Sr. (TK-1117)

Better known to many as “Tate”, joined the 501st Midwest Garrison in the early 2000’s. He was the first African-American to don a stormtrooper costume in the Garrison and the Legion and was a driving force that helped both the 501st Legion and Rebel Legion grow. Tate could easily be described as talented, creative, funny, friendly, magnetic, and iconic. He was loved by everyone and inspired many to greatness. He always had a positive energy about him and was the model of inclusivity. He had a way of making everyone feel welcome and included. One of his greatest gifts was the ability to see more similarities than differences with people he met, and that quality alone made him a true ambassador in the fandom community. He was always willing to donate his time to a good cause and promoted fearlessness in living one’s own life. He strongly believed that every person should pursue their happiness and demonstrated it every time he trooped.

Mike passed away on December 20, 2022. His BIG smile, charismatic spirit, and legendary positive attitude will be missed, but he left us with a template of how to be kind to others and to live fearlessly. His legacy will live on through many of us.


Midwest Garrison Trooper Of The Month

December: Bob J. Pieroni
November: Dan Bandola
October: Michael Swartz
September: Bob Pieroni
August: Mark Berry
July: Robert Redden
June: Kris Belardinelli
May: Lizzie Lindenbaum-Gaudio
April: Eric Werner
March: William Collison
February: Michael Stoughton
January: Todd Roesner

› View Past Years

December: Rudy Grasha
November: Joe Bialek
October: Christopher Buetsch
September: Gemma Billings
August: Dan Quinn & Sean Crockett
July: Barry W Benecke
June: NONE
April: Brian Salisbury
March: Monserrate Monty Garcia
February: Joseph Stacko
January: Chris Stewart

December: Kurt DeGroot
November: Joe Rivera
October: Javier Esqueda & Darryl Sorensen
September: NONE
August: Joe Rivera
July: Tom Rosy
June: Len Deptula
May: Pat Brown & Jerry Brown
April: NONE
March: Bobby Anderson
February: Mike Dickinson
January: Eugene Almazan & Christan Medina

December: NONE
November: NONE
October: Jim Marriott (marriott211) 21175
September: Joe River (River) 3166
August: Tim “Done” Dunne (Modal Nodes Roadie) 54750
July: Sandra Almazan (SFIbana) 10428
June: Joe Stacko (jstacko) 3145
April: Ray “Rex” Bosques (3499)
March: Heather Dickinson (Faylyn) 66599
February: NONE
January: NONE

December:  Sean D Crockett (Sdc75) 42975
November:  Rudy Grasha (FettSwatCop) 3620
October:  NONE
September:  Ryan Bell (Error) 61455
August:  Marc Casey (TKMarc) 51367
July:  Ted Ruler (RulerMaul) 36285
June:  Tim Dunne (Modal Nodes Roadie) 54750
May:  Ted Ruler (Rulermaul) 36285
April:  Shannon Buestch (Boushh823) 82371
March:  Charlotte Hartsock (Kraftz5) 12164
February:  TJ Wonogas (Taco Sunday) 33431
January:  Brian Salisbury (SteakBS) 21083 &
Craig Bruckman (LordChaos61273) 51779

December: Roland Batrouni (TKRoland) 4186
November: Joe Bialek (tx41574) 41574 &
Heather Dickinson (faylyn) 66599
October: Brian Travis (Brian72) 81772
September: Ray Bosques (Rex Fett) 3499
August: Michael A. Stoughton (PhoebeAndraus) 17294
July: Peter Marciano (Marciano117) 82295
June: Tim Dunne (modal nodes roadie) 254750
May: Lydia Miller (bikersquid) 12511 &
Robert Redden (Darthikari) 5206
April: Charlotte Harstock (Kraftz5) 12164
March: Mike Mathews (Vreedonsett) 13140
February: Kevin Glass(Glass) 2834
January: Eric Werner (Blacksun) 41551

December: Peter Murfin (Drk_Trooper) 12079
November: Ted Ruler (Ruler Maul) 36285
October: Ray Bosques (Rex Fett) 3499
September: Eric Werner (Blacksun) 41551
August: Chris Stewart (emmzone22) TK21470
July: Brad Hartsock (tk1397) 1397
June: Jeremy Wilcox (TK7503) 7503
May: Eugene Almazan (Smuah Gunnery) 80870
April: Chris Buetsch (ToolGuy301) 21273
March: Eric Werner (Blacksun) 41551
February: Ted Ruler (Ruler Maul) 36285
January: Neil Auer (TK3446) 3446

December: Rick Devine (Runnin’6712) 6712
November: Kevin Glass (Glass) 2834
October: Ted Ruler (Ruler Maul) 36285
September: Michael A. Stoughton(PhoebeAndraus) 17294
August: Patrick Lewis (Sakic Jade) 52809
July: Ray Bosques (Rex Fett) 3499
June: Kathy van Beuningen (TKvanB) 9989
May: Mike Mathews(Vreedonsett) 13140
April: Eric Werner (Blacksun) 41551
March: Kristen Avara (SkyPanda) 7844
February: Ted Ruler (Ruler Maul) 36285
January: Anthony Day (Psykojedi7956) 7956

December: Eric Werner (Blacksun) 41551
November: Eric Werner (Blacksun) 41551
October: Ted Ruler (Ruler Maul) 36285
September: Aaron Brigman (ChicagoVader) 2875
August: Patrick Lewis (Sakic Jade) 52809
July: Hawk Worley (Hawk) 12109
June: Barry Benecke (bobafrettTK523) 523
May: Robert Redden (DarthIkari) 5206
April: Augie Webster (Augie) 9397
March: Neil Auer (TK3446) 3446
February: Darryl Sorensen (R2-S5) 4050
January: Tyler Meier (BurningDragon) 50488

December: Rick Devine (Runnin’6712) 6712
November: Darcy Anne Jorgensen (Peanut814) 81470
October: Kim Worley (Coin) 12108 &
Shannon Buetsch (Boushhh823) 82371
September: Mark Berry (Blueram) 4265
August: Steve Gaza (gazmosis) 4034
July: Ted Ruler (Ruler Maul) 36285
June: Lisa Schneider (TB4806)4806
May: Chad Collins(Darthmaulsghost) 6876
April: Nicole VanBrooker (Ketix) 57412
March: Kevin Skiera (Rebel Doughboy) 9336 &
Tyler Meier (BurningDragon) 50488
February: Scott Holder (Firebat) 373
January: NONE

December: Roland Batrouni (TKRoland) 4186
November: Carlos Mendoza (Solcar23) 5924
October: Steve Gaza (gazmosis) 4034
September: Luke Naliborski (sirLuke) 5388
August: Steve Gaza (gazmosis) 4034
July: Jon Weger (jweger77) 9142
June: Jody McQuarters (nightshifter) 6443
May: Adriane Bean (beans) 4541
April: Brian Troyan (Fleetfang) 8968
March: Kristen Avara (SkyPanda) 7844
February: Neil Auer (TK3446) 3446
January: Robert L. Hamilton (Vadersblade) 8310

December: Cheryl Whitaker (Whinter) 3127
November: Chip Childress (SL9965) 9965
October: Mark Berry (Blueram) 4265
September: Aimee Jorgenson (TB101) 101
August: Mark Berry (Blueram) 4265
July: Robert L. Hamilton (Vadersblade) 8310
June: None
May: Thomas Turner(Crix) 4913
April: Jody McQuarters (nightshifter) 6443
March: Brian Troyan (Fleetfang) 8968
February: Tom Schaefer (TK118) 118
January: Neil Auer (TK3446) 3446

December: James Norman (iam8114) 8114
November: Mike Riemma (Remo) 1659
October: Phylis Schulte (Schoh Gochi) 1951
September: Brian Troyan (Fleetfang) 8968
August: Mike Bollow (Imperial1971) 7155
July: Tom Schaefer (TK118) 118
June: Jody McQuarters (Nightshifter) 6443
May: Cheryl Whitaker (Whinter) 3127
April: Brian Troyan (Fleetfang) 8968
March: Joe River (River) 3166
February: Steve Szyndrowski (ID3052) 3052
January: Cheryl Whitaker (Whinter) 3127

December: Walfrido R Contreras (Marvinrobot) 7242
November: Phylis Schulte (Schoh Gochi) 1951
October: James Tampa (Arcturus1020) 1020
September: Kent Heath (DirtyScout) 1692
August: Patrick Q Higgins (PQ Higgins) 3697
July: Jerry Treiber (Grunt) 5991
June: Jeremy Wilcox (BDA TK7503) 7503
May: Rob Miller (Oblagon) 7230
April: Patrick Q Higgins (PQ Higgins) 3697
March: Cheryl Whitaker (Whinter) 3127
February: Andrew Marsh (Jack Killian) 2079
January: NONE

December: Dan Patterson (TK787) 787
November: Steve Brejnak (TK465) 465
October: Joseph Flores (IronManAtArms) 1296
September: NONE
August: Phylis Schulte (Schoh Gochi) 1951
July: Jerry Treiber (Grunt) 5991
June: Stephanie Hicks (McAmazing) 9052
May: Geoff Pfeiffer (TK 4813) 4813
April: James Dejan (Targ) 3853
March: NONE
February: James Dejan (Targ) 3853
January: Cheryl Whitaker (Whinter) 3127

December: James Dejan (Targ) 3853
November: David Gates (Gator Fett) 8875
October: Phylis Schulte (Schoh Gochi) 1951
September: Tom Schaefer (TK118) 118
August: Mike Washko (TK895) 895
July: Jerry Treiber (Grunt) 5991
June: Phylis Schulte (Schoh Gochi) 1951
May: Jay Shimko (SHIMKO) 130
April: Ryan Day (BankyScout) 7926
March: Rich Markle (Dad Vader) 1781
February: Tom Schaefer (TK118) 118
January: Steve Brejnak (TK465) 465

December: John Blizzard (Blizz) 8192
November: Ken Friedman (Kifs) 544
October: Jay Shimko (SHIMKO) 130
September: John Fitzsimmons (Fitz) 6442
August: Brent Ashcroft (Sportsanchor) 1044 &
John Duffy (TK737) 737
July: Tom Schaefer (TK118) 118 &
Susie Leopold (lavagrrrl) 7305
June: Barry Benecke II (BobafrettTK523) 523
May: Chris Brown (JasterMereel) 3829
April: Mary Walton (Badmommy) 5202
March: Phylis Schulte (Schoh Gochi) 1951
February: Chris Schwarz (Iceburgh) 9442
January: NONE

December: James Tampa (Arcturus1020) 1020
November: Carolyn Brown (FrenchyMereel) 6156
October: Bob Walton (Prof Chaos) 1216
September: Jason E Piekarz (TK257) 257
August: Rich Markle (Dad Vader) 1781
July: Jerome Ohnui (Crimson) 1800
June: Barry Benecke II (BobafrettTK523) 523
May: Donovan Larabel (TX 338) 338
April: Thomas Spanos (CloneEmperor) 1876


501st Legion Honorary Members Inducted by the MWG

As the 501st Legion continues to reach out and touch the lives of fans, it also seeks to recognize those who have contributed their time, skills and talents to the Star Wars saga in some special way. There are also many friends of the Legion who may not have specifically worked for Lucasfilm, but who have shown tremendous support of the 501st and Star Wars fandom. Those listed on this page have been presented a custom plaque by the Midwest Garrison, commemorating their relationship with the 501st Legion.

Troy Baker
Voice Actor: Theron Shan, Star Wars: The Old Republic
April 23, 2017
Mark Boudreaux
Hasbro senior principal designer and designer of the toy version of the Millennium Falcon
June 2, 2018
Elizabeth Shaffer
Senior Editor DelRey Publishing Author
April 14, 2019
Caper Brown
June 20, 2018 (In Memoriam)
James E. Duggan Jr.
June 22, 2018
Monserrate “Montie” Garcia
February 10, 2018
Kurt DeGroot
December 23, 2020

Midwest Garrison Honorary Troopers

The 501st Midwest Garrison continues to grow and make a difference in the lives of fans of all ages. The Garrison also recognizes individuals that not only have shown tremendous support to the 501st Legion and our Garrison, but also have contributed their time, skills and talents to the community and includes Star Wars in some special way. These individuals have been presented a Certificate and Garrison “Goodies”, commemorating their relationship with the 501st Legion Midwest Garrison.

Tyler Levine
December 29, 2017
Benjamin “Ben”, Will, and Tom Wilhelm
Noah Halek
January 17, 2020 (In Memoriam)
Braiden May
December 12, 2020


Midwest Garrison In Memoriam

Honoring our fallen troopers.

  • Terry Beisel (BH-3259)
  • Michael T. Tate (TK-1117)
  • Jim M “Targ” DeJan (TI-3853)
  • John “Fitz” Fitzsimmons (DZ-6442)