Ray Bosques (BH 3499)

Garrison Commanding Officer

Better known as Rex, he was born in Chicago, but grew up in Puerto Rico where his interest in Star Wars began in 1977. When he saw Vader burst through the Tantive IV wall in the opening scene he knew he was on the hook. His prop making skills began at a young age too, when he made his first lightsaber by connecting a flashlight to a plastic tube using duct tape… the #1 tool in any Puerto Rican toolbox.

In 2000, Rex met members of Chicago Force (a group of geeks with the same enthusiasm for Star Wars), and his obsession evolved. During his time with the club, Rex had the opportunity to meet many people while participating and helping organize events. During Celebration II, he decided to join the 501st Midwest Garrison, and after leaving the convention he began to work on his 1st costume… and since then, his Star Wars addiction has continued and grown.

“When I was child, all I wanted was to meet a Star Wars character, however, I never had the opportunity. Now I get to dress as one and when I see a child (or adult) awe in excitement, I relive my childhood dream. The 501st Legion gives me the opportunity to share my passion for Star Wars and make a difference. I’m the change that I want to see in this world”.

Brad Hartsock (TK 1397)

Garrison Executive Officer

Joined the Legion: Nov 2007, Brad is also a Member of the Rebel Legion were he is a Wookiee Costume Judge.

Born and raised in Central Illinois, graduated from Eureka High School in 1984, Joined the Air force and was stationed at Offutt AFB for 6 years, during his time at Offutt he was deployed to Fairford RAF base in England in support of Desert Storm. Honorably discharged in 1992, worked for Compaq computers in Omaha Nebraska for several years, eventually moving back to Illinois and getting a job at Caterpillar Tractor Company in Peoria. Brad’s wife is Charlotte and he even got Married while wearing his Stormtrooper kit! Brad’s main kit is his ANH Stormtrooper but he often also wears a Wookie Warrior kit and you may catch him at special events or C2E2 in his ‘Crystal Stormtrooper’ kit, it’s covered with 51 thousand glass crystals.

Jim Marriott (TI 21175)

Garrison Captain of the Guard

Jim lives in Mahomet, just outside Champaign. He works for the University of Illinois as a Program Manager for the Occupational Safety and Health Department. He married his college sweetheart, who lovingly (but begrudgingly) supports his hobbies. Jim’s first kit was a TIE pilot, and he was admitted to the Legion and Garrison in 2017. He has an ANH TK in addition to the TI, and is currently working on a Heavy Weapons Trooper for future submissions. Jim has been the Guard since late 2019.

Chip Childress (DS 9965)

Garrison Membership Liaison, Garrison Web Liaison

I’ve been a member of the 501st/MWG since 2002. I work in graphic design and sales for a sign company. When I’m not trooping, I enjoy time with my family and playing guitar.

I learned about the 501st when I saw stormtroopers at the first Star Wars Celebration. It took some time for me to get TK armor and before that I costumed as Darth Maul and then a Jedi. I was an ESB Vader for a long time and I had clonetrooper armor for a while. Now I have ANH stormtrooper armor and a TFA Kylo Ren costume.

My latest work in progress is an ANH Tusken Raider.

Mike Dickinson (TI 66598)

Garrison Membership Liaison, Garrison Web Liaison

Mike Dickinson (Avatar190 – Legion ID: IC/TI/TR/TX-66598) was appointed to the role of Garrison Web Liaison in 2020, while serving as the Garrison Member Liaison from 2018-2024. Previously serving as Garrison Public Relations Officer in 2017. He joined the 501st Legion in April 2016, and the Rebel Legion in October (serving as Base Membership Officer for Nar Shaddaa 2019-2021). Mike’s active costume lineup consists of Imperial Bridge Crew, Imperial Scanning Crew, Imperial Army Trooper, Imperial Security Bureau Officer (Non-Saga), TIE Pilot (Reserve, ANH, 181st), Mudtrooper (Medic variant) and the dual-approved Imperial Knight.

Mike has resided in Plainfield, IL since 2003, but was pretty much a life-long resident of south suburban Hazel Crest, Illinois. Graduating from Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights, he briefly attended University of Illinois at Chicago, but did not find a career focus to warrant the desire to continue pursuing education there. In 1989, he was introduced to the fire service, on a volunteer level, by a neighbor. Here he found his calling, soon after enrolling in EMT and later paramedic training.

Mike became a full-time firefighter for the City of Naperville in 1992, serving for 30 years until his retirement in 2022. His other activities for the department have included the Technical Rescue Team, Unmanned Aerial Systems Team (Drone), Honor Guard and Pipes & Drums. His Honor Guard and Pipes & Drums activities include many charitable functions, akin to those we do in the 501st. He has even done some of the same events together or done double-duty at them (St. Baldrick’s and the West Suburban Irish Parade, for instance).

Mike has always had the desire to help others in his blood. He has done this for 33 years in the fire service and continues to do so with our work in the Legions. “Bad guys, doing good.”

Daniel Quinn (TB 80419)

Garrison Membership Liaison, Garrison Web Liaison

Equipped with degrees in industrial design and fashion design, building costumes easily became a passion for Dan. For his senior design project, Dan was allowed to research how the Star Wars costumes were made and build his own as his final university requirements. Upon graduating in 2020, Dan applied to the 501st with four costumes already made: ANH Stunt Stormtrooper, ROTJ Scout Trooper, ANH TIE Pilot, and ANH Imperial Gunner.

Now with eight approved costumes; ANH Stunt Stormtrooper, ROTJ Scout Trooper, ANH TIE Pilot, ANH Imperial Gunner, Grand Inquisitor (Rebels), Jedi Fallen Order Scout Trooper, TIE Reserve Pilot, Imperial Bridge Crew, and several more well on their way. All costumes require more than one skill whether it’s sewing, plastic fabrication, 3d modeling and printing, painting, or even just finding vendors. It is Dan’s goal to have a solid knowledge of a variety of costumes and building techniques that will help others build the best costumes they can. And we can’t forget about the droid! In 2022, Dan was presented the opportunity to become a protocol droid. His droid is the silver E-3PO from Cloud City and has had many successful missions with his astromech counterparts.

Dan currently is a professional model maker working with additive manufacturing and plastic fabrication at a worldwide display company. You’ve never heard of the company but you’ve seen our displays in all your favorite stores.

Rudy Grasha (BH 3620)

Garrison Membership Liaison

Bio coming soon…

Adriane Bean (TK 4541)

Garrison Events Coordinator, Garrison Charity Representative

Bio coming soon…

Rick Devine (TK 6712)

Garrison Events Coordinator, Garrison Charity Representative

Rick lives in Mahomet located in central Illinois. He works for Caterpillar, Inc. as a Supplier Development Engineer. Ever since seeing the original Star Wars movie he wanted to be a Stormtrooper. In 2010 he finally got the chance to live out his dream of being a stormtrooper as part of the 501st Legion / MidWest Garrison.

Additional responsibilities in the Garrison include being a Garrison Event Coordinator and keeping track of each of the members ToD’s (Tour of Duties). Other activities outside of the garrison include spending time with his two daughters and running.

Heather Dickinson (TI 66599)

Garrison Public Relations Officer, Garrison Events Coordinator

Bio coming soon…

Robert J. Pieroni (TK 46712)

Garrison Public Relations Officer

Bobby’s Star Wars adventure began at a young age when he watched the original trilogy in 2008. This was a passion that he shared with his father who took him to see the 501 st Midwest Garrison at the Bartlett 4th of July Parade that same year. His love for Star Wars grew as he took pictures with the characters, unbeknownst that one day, he would become one of them. 14 years after his first photo with MWG members, he purchased a Stormtrooper costume and quickly started building the kit. By December 2022, the costume was finished, approved, and Bobby was an official member of the 501st Legion, alongside his father who was also approved with a Shock Trooper costume.

Bobby is an accomplished Martial Artist, gamer, and video editor. He currently attends the College of DuPage where he is studying Computer Science and works as a Production Assistant at Multimedia Services. Bobby is using his skills, talents, and knowledge to help the 501st Midwest Garrison grow.

Pete Siegal (TI 91254)

Garrison Public Relations Officer

A long time ago in a city not too far from Chicago, I was born. In the month of May. A few years later, Star Wars was born, also in May. Although I have no memory of it, I’m told my parents took me, a 3-year-old, to see the first movie, now known as Episode IV: A New Hope, in the theater. Something must have happened on that day in May 1977, because I’ve been a fan ever since. My first rock-solid memory is seeing Return of the Jedi and just absolutely loving all the awesomeness – the Royal Guard… the Scout Troopers… the freaking Emperor! I was hooked.

After having seen the 501st Legion at C2E2 and parades, I decided to take my first steps into a larger world. I joined the Midwest Garrison in, naturally, May 2022, as an Imperial Gunner. You know, the planet killers. After that, I got my TIE Pilot armor and I’ve been trooping as a flyboy since.

It is such a cool and rewarding feeling, being able to put a smile on a kid’s (or adult’s) face, and who knows, maybe they too will one day join the proud members of the 501st Legion, the “bad guys doing good”!

Joseph Stacko (TR 3145)

Garrison Web Master

Back in 1999, Episode I had just been released, and a much younger Joe was with his family at Chicago Comic Con when he first saw real Stormtroopers. Star Wars was his favorite thing as a child, but seeing the white armor lit a spark. For the next several years, Joe would follow the 501st and the MWG, until the day came when he was finally tall enough to wear the contents of the “big brown box”.

An Eagle Scout, volunteer work and giving back to the community has always been core value for Joe. While he enjoys the big events, his heart has always been with hospital troops, Make A Wish events, and small community gatherings. That old white armor has since retired, but sporting a Royal Guard or Kylo Ren outfit still brings the magic to kids today.

Joe works as a theoretical mathematician & game designer, previously working as a software engineer for a large health care company (which comes in handy for not just websites, but droid building as well).

Ben Rothman (TK 60421)

Garrison Web Master

Ben joined the 501st in March 2022. While he’s been a Star Wars fan since childhood, his passion increased during quarantine as he dove into both EU and new canon books. Crafting stormtrooper armor had always been high on his bucket list, but he consistently postponed it. That is, until he received an award from the software company where he works. Recipients are asked to choose a prize that held personal meaning, and Ben knew instantly that TK armor was the perfect choice.

Since acquiring ANH Stunt armor, Ben has also added Imperial Navy Trooper to his nascent collection.

Ben is a web software engineer and is looking forward to contributing his skills to the Garrison.

Eric Werner (TK 41551)

Garrison Web Master, Garrison Merchandising & Branding Officer

Bio coming soon…

Ted Ruler (SL 36285)

Garrison Merchandising & Branding Officer

I became a Star Wars fan immediately upon seeing Star Wars – A New Hope, in 1977 and have been a fan ever since. I was immediately drawn in with the opening scene, when the Tantive IV was under attack from an Imperial Star Destroyer.

Fast forward to May 19, 1999: After going to a completely full theater to see the Phantom Menace, I exited the theater with a new favorite character – Darth Maul! To show my excitement and embrace this character, I shaved a full head of hair that same year to become Darth Maul for Halloween. I didn’t know it then, but this paved my path to becoming a 501st Legion/Midwest Garrison member. In 2008 I went “all in” and purchased overseas costume pieces for my Darth Maul outfit, to become Maul again for a Halloween party. Not too long after that party, I had a friend telling me about the 501st Legion/Midwest Garrison and he was praising my Maul and trying to convince me to join the group. I initially declined because I did not want to shave my goatee because I look silly without it. My friend persisted over a 3-4 year span and I finally joined the 501st Legion/Midwest Garrison in May 2013 as Darth Maul.

Since joining, my collection of costumes has expanded to multiple screen used characters, a comic character, and I even created my own character. My costumes include:

Darth Maul, ANH TIE Pilot, Shadow Trooper, 181st Squadron TIE Pilot, Black Sun Darth Maul (shirtless with body tattoos), First Order Stormtrooper, First Order Executioner Stormtrooper, Reserve TIE Pilot, Imperial Bridge Crew, ANH Stormtrooper, Retired Captain Rex, and my creation – Maul Trooper. Maul Trooper is a mash-up between a Shadow Trooper and Darth Maul.

As always – there are plenty other costumes in the works. Come and see me at any event to find out what they may be…

I am just a regular person with a regular job – I just happen to also love Star Wars. In the real world, I am a Service Engineer at GE Healthcare and I repair MRI imaging systems. I have several hobbies and interests, but to name just a few: Muscle Cars, Photography, Fishing, Triathlons, Fitness and many other things in which I can test and/or improve my abilities.

I have participated in several costumed events and there is always at least one person at every event that makes me feel great about what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. I have made smiles from fans that range from 2 years old to 90+ years old. The common denominator in the excitement is the appreciation for Star Wars characters.

If you have any interest in joining our ranks at the 501st Legion/Midwest Garrison, feel free to catch me at an event and ask me any questions. I’m always happy to share my excitement and love for Star Wars and the 501st Legion/Midwest Garrison.

Thomas J Wonogas (TI 33431)

Garrison Merchandising & Branding Officer

TJ Wonogas started his 501st career in January of 2017. This started in all places Riot Fest, an outdoor music festival, went he met another 501st member who was straight edge and was a member of a subgroup of tie pilots that all were straight edge.

This urged TJ to finally take the plunge and start on a costume to become a member. Since that first reserve tie pilot costume, he has also completed the following costumes: ANH Tie Pilot, ANH Stormtrooper, Bridge Crew, Willrow Hood, and has a legacy costume of Tedn Dahai (the cantina musician who plays the fanfar) which was originally Anthony Conte’s costume, a fellow legion member who has passed.

In his personal life TJ has a career as a Mortgage Loan Originator. He also has many personal hobbies of collecting comic books and other horror and pop culture collectibles, playing his guitar and drums, and watching hockey, usually cheering on the Chicago Blackhawks.

Todd Roesner (TK 60151)

Garrison Special Operations Team Lead

I’ve been a member of the garrison since May 2017, currently have 4 approved uniforms (and a droid). I’ve done close to 200 troops, been a member of MWG Special OPs (originally MWG Welcome Group) for 5 years, been leading it for just over a year now. I really enjoy welcoming new members to the garrison, helping them out and getting to know them.