Our pilot for the month of June is Lanil! He is our Detachment web master and keeps things running smoothly! He is also responsible for our new interface and keeping us looking good! 

1. Whats your name and why did you pick your callsign? 

My name is Brad Lee, and my callsign, Lanil, is the name I almost always use in a Star Wars / sci-fi setting for roleplay purposes. This name actually came from the Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic name generator, the full name being Lanil Jast. Lanil’s most prominent story has been told over the course of over 10 real years as he’s gone from a simple Tie Pilot, to a deck officer on a Star Destroyer, to an ISB spook and propaganda guy, later a high-up type with COMPNOR itself, and finally thanks to some assistance of a Sith Lord, Emperor of what’s left of the Empire. This story has been playing out on Star Wars MUSH and about 3-4 offshoot games that have sprung up over the years, one being spun off from the other.

2. How long have you been a part of the JRS, and what is it that sparked your interest in joining? 

I’ve been with the JRS since 2012 when I started working on my Reserve Pilot. My interest in the 501st started back in 2011 when I saw them mentioned in Guinness, and I started looking into that. At that time, I did not see the Reserve Pilot option nor some of the less-expensive IOC options, so I dismissed it as “not having enough money” at the time. Fortunately on a whim I decided to look into it again in 2012 and the rest is history. As to the JRS itself, I’ve always had an interest in aviation and Tie Fighters, so it was an obvious choice. That and we get to sit down!

3. Of all of the troops that you have done, what would you say is the one that stands out in your mind in meaning the most to you and why?

That’s a tough choice, but aside from the conventions I’ve been to which are AWESOME, it would have to be when I had the chance to troop with Albin at a special appearance for a child suffering from the same kind of brain tumor his daughter Katie had. I know it meant a lot to him, and I was honored to have the chance to troop that event.

4. How has being a part of the 501st/JRS impacted your life?

I’ve been introduced to an amazing group of friends anywhere in the world that I can talk nerd to and dress up in costume with and they won’t think I’m weird, haha!

5. Outside of trooping and 501st/JRS related stuff, what do you do for a living, and what are some other interests or hobbies that you have?

I currently dispatch for the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, and I’m working on getting out on the road as an officer with the State Transport Police division. I am also a volunteer firefighter, currently with Floyd-Dale Fire Rescue.

I also am a Communications instructor with Civil Air Patrol, the USAF auxiliary, and in addition a rated Mission Observer, a bit like a co-pilot, for CAP missions.

I am also a ham radio operator (K4RMN), operating on VHF, UHF, Echolink, and VHF APRS Packet.

Still more! I am a certified I-1 Instructor with VATSIM with the ZJX ARTCC and also a VATSIM Supervisor. If you don’t know what I just said, lol, I offer virtual air traffic control services at a high level of realism in real-time for pilots flying online with Microsoft Flight Sim or X-Plane. If you want more information, let me know.

I am also a member of The Royal Manticoran Navy, the Official Honor Harrington Fan Association, aka TRMN. I am the Senior Communications Instructor there, where I grade the written exams for the Communications rating, and I am also the webmaster for the Third Fleet. (FYI the Third Fleet is on a separate server than this site).

More fangroups! I am a member of STARFLEET International, Klingon Assault Group, and the Carolina Alliance of Star Trek Fans.

In addition to all this, I also find time somehow to be a Master Mason currently with Carolina Lodge #375 in Hanaha, SC, SC A.F.M.

6. Can you give us an idea as to the kind of support you get from friends and family regarding the 501st and all the great things that you have done for the JRS?

Some think it strange, but those that know me know it’s my thing, and they’re generally supportive of my charity efforts, even if now and then I get some good-natured ribbing.

7. And lastly, is there anything, Star Wars related or not, that people might not know about you that they might be surprised to find out?

I think I’ve told just about it all, heh. But here’s one: I was born 3 months early, weighing in at 2 lbs 11 oz, and had to stay in the hospital for 3 months. In 1985 that was a big deal, moreso than it still is today.