Members must have a desire to live by a code of conduct that is defined by Chivalry. They are free to find their own personal path and engage in self discovery of their own accord, and are in fact encouraged to do so. Personal freedom and responsibility are highly valued by the Order, and as such the Order does not seek to restrict its members, except to ensure they do not act in a manner that is in conflict with the Order’s ideals.
New candidates must be honorable people, drawn to Chivalry by a force within themselves. They must have a desire for self improvement, spiritual growth, and improving the world around them.
A candidate must also show a dedicated interest in the Order and its activities. The candidate He will be expected to understand what the Order is about, and what its ideals are.
To join the order, a candidate does not to have to have begun on an armor/garb kit, but having a soft kit, or having begun on armor will definitely be a plus.
The minimum age to join, is 16 years of age. Members who are 16 or 17 will be considered Minors, for which there will be some differences from adult members. At the age of 18, a member will be considered to be an Adult Member.
Membership rules and benefits
Members who do not live up to the Orders ideals, whose actions reflect badly on the Order, can be voted out and removed.
Members may also resign at any time, or request to be made temporarily “inactive”. Inactive members do not vote, but may return at a time of their choosing. The commander can also place members into inactive status if they have been unreachable for some time or have shown no interest in participating in votes.
Members who are inactive for 6 months or more on the forum will be automatically considered to be “inactive” members. Inactivation does not mean the member is kicked out, or barred from participation, or anything of the sort. It merely means they will be removed from the voting totals, and will be sorted to the bottom of the roster on the website. The member may ask to be reactivated at any time.
Members are considered inactive only if they have not been participating with other members in events or discussions, online or offline, at the descretion of the active members. Inactivity has no impact on membership, other than not participating in votes that the member is not present or available for.
In the case of negative votes at all promotion levels, the member can request a single appeal within the 90 days after the initial vote. The sponsors will act as intermediaries to work with the member to correct issues, and aid them in the appeal. The available knights or The Review Board will vote again with the new information provided.
Ranks and Titles
This is a summary of the Order’s ranks and titles, and what their roles are:
- Page: New member, non-voting. May proceed to becoming a Yeoman after 90 days of probationary membership. Minors will remain Pages until the age of 18, unless voted forward early.
- Yeoman: Normal member, non-voting. Members may remain as Yeomen as long as they desire/need.
- Squire: Established member, limited-voting. Members may remain as Squires as long as they desire/need.
- Knight: Voting member who has been knighted by the order after meeting the requirements.
- Knight Commander: Organizational role, elected periodically.
- Knight Bachelor: A member of the Order that has been knighted, but does not carry the Order’s duties and responsibilities of knighthood.
- Associate Members: Unofficial members not granted any title or voting rights within the Order, but recognized for their contributions.
A prospective member (or “applicant”) will need two sponsors in order to join, both of rank squire or higher, with at least one of them being a knight. One of the sponsors will act on the applicant’s behalf, and assemble a petition for the applicant, which will be made available to the active Squires + Knights in a thread in the private section of the forum, where such that it will be discussed and voted on by those two ranks, requiring a 2/3 majority to pass (with the understanding that if a full third of the voting members have a problem with the applicant, that’s a good sign that there’s a problem). The voting period is between 7 and 14 days (discretion at the start of the vote), and those who fail to participate in the vote during this time are considered abstentions that do not count toward the voting total. A minimum of 1/3 of the eligible voters (or a minimum of 10) must participate, or else the vote cannot pass. If it fails due to lack of participation, a second vote will be held by the Review Board, also requiring a 2/3 majority to pass. In the event that the applicant is rejected, they must wait at least 30 days before applying again. If the vote succeeds, the applicant will be added to the roster with the rank of Page.
If the new Page is a Minor (under the age of 18), then one of the active knights will be assigned as a mentor to the Page. All knights of the Order have the role of helping to guide and teach the Page, however the assigned Mentor will act as a point of accountability, and will take the lead in communicating with the Page.
Membership approval for Minors looking to join may be denied if there are not enough active knights available to help with mentoring roles. Since we are not a youth organization, we have to maintain a strong ratio of Knights over Minors.
The Page level is introductory, and will last a period of time no less than 90 days to show that the Page is here to stay and shares our values. This gives the Page time to learn about the order and work on improving his or her kit, while letting the existing knights learn about the Page as well.
Once the 90 day introductory period has passed, the Page becomes eligible to advance to the rank of “Yeoman”. If the Page has remained active in the Order, the available active knights or Review Board will vote on advancing the Page to the rank of Yeoman. If the Page has been absent for 30 days or more, the vote can be deferred until the Page returns.
If the vote fails, the Page may attempt to advance again after another 90 days.
If the Page is a Minor (under the age of 18), then there will not be automatic votes to proceed to Yeoman at the 90-day interval(s). Minors will remain Pages until either the Knights call for a vote to advance to Yeoman (because the Page has shown a level of maturity that is commensurate with a full adult member of the Order), or upon reaching the age of 18 (and thus will be treated as an adult for advancement purposes).
There is no requirement of “soft kit” (garb/clothing) or “hard kit” (armor) to become a Yeoman.
A Page who has fulfilled their 90 day period (and reached the age of 18 in the case of Minors, or voted ahead otherwise), and remained active will be eligible for advancement to Yeoman by approval through the available active knights or Review Board. There is no requirement of “soft kit” (garb/clothing) or “hard kit” (armor) to become a Yeoman.
- Sponsorship from two Knights
- Soft-Kit, at least minimal garb or arming clothes.
As with the Yeoman rank, there is no minimum or maximum time limit on the Squire rank. After becoming a Squire, a member can seek to be knighted.
Squires must submit custom heraldry for the roll of arms. Personal arms must be sufficiently different from existing arms in the Order, and may be updated as needed. Arms may be updated at the discretion of the member, within reason. The Knight Commander, or a designated Herald, will have final discretion.
When a Yeoman feels that he or she is ready, or at the request of a sponsor, the Yeoman can apply to become a Squire. The primary requirements for becoming a Squire is that the Yeoman must create heraldry (coat of arms), and receive sponsorship from two Knights. There is no minimum or maximum time that a person must spend as a Yeoman, but this is meant to be an important stepping stone toward knighthood, that has its own position of nobility. This will initiate a private discussion thread amongst the knights, and the sponsors will act as intermediaries and representatives for the Yeoman. The available active knights or Review Board will vote on the rank advancement. If the vote fails, the Yeoman must wait at least 90 days before another attempt.
NOTE: The Knight Commander cannot be a sponsor for Squiring, since the Commander has a permanent seat on the Review Board, even if the Review Board is inactive.
- Learned about the Order and its ideals
- Embraced the path of Chivalry and its ideals
- Complete armor kit appropriate to a knight or man-at-arms within the medieval period (1066-1600)
- Three active Knights in good standing to act as sponsors
- Three Knights to perform the accolade (can be the 3 sponsor Knights)
- Approval from the Knight Commander
- NOTE: If the Squire is a minor, parental or guardian permission will be required for knighting.
Once a Squire has progressed beyond the introductory period and has learned about the Order and its ideals, and is satisfied that he or she wishes to continue, and has looked inside and decided that the time has come, and has met the requirements outlined above, the Squire can seek to be knighted.
Before being knighted, the squire must develop a complete armor kit appropriate to a knight or man-at-arms within the medieval period, as defined by the years 1066-1600. It should have a “medieval look” even if it’s not completely historically correct, and appear as such from a distance of ten feet (the so-called “ten foot rule”), and be the “knight in shining armor” so to speak.
Before the knighting can occur, the Squire must find three active knights in good standing to act as sponsors, and three knights to perform the accolade (they may or may not be the sponsors, depending on the circumstances and preferences), and get approval from the Commander. The latter is mostly a formality, but gives a central authority the opportunity to veto a knighting if it appears that the person is simply being accelerated into knighthood without being ready.
The sponsors and the active knights will discuss the application in a private thread, which will be followed by a vote by the available active knights or Review Board.
NOTE: The Knight Commander cannot be a sponsor for Knighting, since the Commander has a permanent seat on the Review Board, even if the Review Board is inactive.
If the vote is negative, the Squire must wait at least 90 days before applying again.
The format of the ceremony is otherwise up to the knights involved, particularly the one receiving the accolade. It is customary, but not required, to gift the new knight with a set of gilded spurs, or something of similar value if they already have spurs.
The ‘standard’ accolade for the Order is based off of historical knighting tradition.
The Knight Commander is the highest position in the Order. It is an elected position. Duties of the Knight Commander include membership on the Review Board, handling tied votes (Knight Commander vote is doubled in the event of a tie), and in most cases, handling arrangements for Order demonstrations.
The Order may also have “associate members” in the form of squires and pages (not in title, only in temporary duties), who are not knights of the order, or official members, but help at events or donate their time. In some cases, the title of “Honorary Member” may be granted to honor someone who is not active with the Order, and is not an official member, but has been influential or helpful to us in the past and deserves to be honored.
A Knight Bachelor of the Order is an actual member, who has been knighted, but does not carry the duties or responsibilities of a Knight of the Order. This can happen as a means to honor someone who was knighted previously elsewhere, or who has been deemed a knight within the Order but does not participate in the Order’s operations. The title of Knight Bachelor can only be granted under rare circumstances, with a 2/3 majority vote of the active knights in good standing, and approval of the Knight Commander. This title may exist in conjunction with an existing rank within the Order, such as Squire or Yeoman, with the Knight Bachelor retaining the level of access and responsibilities that they had prior to the title. If the Knight Bachelor wishes to become a full Knight of the Order, he or she must continue to progress within the normal rank structure.
Operations and Procedures
Election of the Knight Commander
The founding Knight Commander’s term is lifelong, until death, resignation, or removal by vote. Beginning with the second Knight Commander, the term becomes one year, with annual elections.
By default, the Review Board is inactive. In the event that there is a lot of membership activity that warrants a Review Board, it can be activated and populated through votes from the available active knights. The Review Board will be disbanded when it has been inactive for more than a year, or at the discretion of the knights.
The “Review Board” exists to handle promotions of rank within the Order. The board consists of 5 active knights, plus the Knight Commander, selected by vote from the body of available active knights. They remain in office until they step down or a vote replaces them, or the board has been inactive or has disbanded. Board elections are held annually. If a review-board knight is one of the sponsors, a different knight must replace him on the board for that vote. The replacement knight could either be appointed by the KC, or come from a list of “standby reviewers”, or be voted in by the other knights, depending on the circumstances. In the instance that no additional knights can be readily obtained for the review board seats, the board can operate with a reduced number of knights.
The Commander’s vote on the review board counts twice. A two-thirds majority is needed for review board votes to pass, thus requiring a 5/7 of the votes in a 7-vote system. The Knight Commander's vote will count twice in the event that a tie-breaker is needed. The Knight Commander can’t be a sponsor since he must always vote on the review board, even if the review board is inactive.
All votes, including election of the commander, are by simple majority of the participating active knights in good standing, unless otherwise indicated. Inactive or retired knights do not vote, nor do Pages/Yeomen/Squires. Only the available active knights need to participate. All others will not count toward the voting total.
In the event of a deadlocked vote, the deadlock will be broken by doubling the Commander’s vote.
Abstentions do not count toward the total in a vote. Knights that are absent from a vote count as abstentions.
Changes to the bylaws require 2/3 majority or quorum of all active knights in good standing that can be reasonably reached to participate.
Votes are organized and conducted by the Knight Commander. Votes must have a minimum duration of a week to give members a chance to participate. However the duration is up to the Knight Commander, and some may have longer durations. Votes will usually be organized on the Order’s forum (currently the ModernChivalry.org forum, since the Order has grown out of this forum), however other poll systems may be used.
An emergency vote can be called by the active knights in good standing to remove the current Knight Commander. A 2/3 majority or quorum of all active knights in good standing is required to remove the Knight Commander.
Should there be less than five active Knights, Founding Members of the Order may be substituted as alternate sponsors for new members into the Page level, and for knighting existing Squires/Yeomen, until such time as there are again five active Knights.
In the rare event that there are fewer than five available active Knights and Founding Members total, Squires may also be substituted in, or Yeomen if there are insufficient Squires.