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Sir Edward:
Joining the Order of the Marshal

This is just a brief introduction to how things usually work, between the forum and the Order of the Marshal. We have had a recent influx of new members on the forum, and interest in the Order, so I want to try to clear up a few questions.

Joining the forum doesn't automatically give you membership in the Order. These are two separate entities, though closely entwined. The Order was created here on the forum, grew out of it, and so the forum remains our primary recruitment ground and social hang-out. There is a "private" forum section for Order-related discussions, that you will be granted access to upon joining the Order.

We no longer have a membership application form. This was experimented with for over half a year, but it was decided that we should return to the original system of sponsors and invitation. If you are interested in joining, you will need to get to know us, and allow us to get to know you. The best way to do that is to participate here on the forum. Participating with local members at events also helps, but in general, activity on the forum is needed since our membership is spread out globally.

Joining will require two sponsors of rank Squire or Knight, with at least one of them being a knight. You can seek sponsors, but sometimes they will simply step forward and volunteer for you. These sponsors will work with you, and take your case to the voting members for review and a vote. This can take time. Don't rush it. If we start to feel like you're practically already a member anyway, the vote will go smoothly. If we just met you, then give it some time and patience.

This system isn't designed to discourage people. Actually, quite the opposite. We want people to be interactive and participatory, so we encourage prospective members to do that first. We just want to know you'll be here for a while, and not disappear as soon as membership is accepted.

Membership Requirements

There's really not much to say here. You have to be an upstanding, chivalrous sort of person, ideally. Over the internet, we have very little way of seeing straight into your heart, so most of this is on the honor system.

We look for recruits who are interested in Chivalry, honor, and integrity, as well as history as it pertains to knights and warriors. Some members engage in historical combat or martial arts of some kind, and others are more interested in collecting swords and armor. And to some degree, we are all "armchair warriors". The thing that we all have in common is a love of knights, chivalry, and medieval history.

Having armor is only a requirement for being knighted. We require a "complete" kit for this (which is very subjective, and thus flexible of course), but it is not required just to join. The assumption is that new members will have started on their kit, but will continue to grow and evolve their look as time goes on. We all have to start somewhere, and our members are all eager to help one another in pursuit of this goal.

About the Order

Information about the Order of the Marshal, and the rules and membership structure can all be found on the website. We encourage you to read it before deciding if you would like to join.

In a nutshell, the Order is not a LARP, SCA group, or living history organization, nor are we an "internet mail-order knighthood" either. We consider ourselves a modern-day order of chivalry, based on historical inspirations of knights. We put a lot of emphasis on armor, weapons, honor, integrity, and all of the associated trappings that would go with a re-creation of knights. In our minds, there is no confusion in being both a "modern chivalry" and a "historical re-creation", as we strive to bring the aspects of history that we like into the modern day.

We encourage members to be as historically accurate as they can, however we will not reprimand or deride members for using movie inspirations, "renfaire authenticity", or making concessions for budget, comfort, or preference of style. You may be gently "nudged" from time to time. But most members are pretty easy going, and willing to help if you have questions.

As a group, we are relatively informal. Members are not beholden to the Order, except to not represent us in a bad light. We think of the knights as being knights errant, who have come together to regale stories of their adventures. Much like the knights of King Arthur's round table, who would be away on quests and periodically return to share their stories.

Members may contribute as much or as little as they like. Most tasks in the Order are on a volunteer basis. The organization is also designed to be "flat", without anyone having more power than anyone else. A good example of this is the Knight Commander position, which is purely organizational and does not confer extra power (except vote tie-breaking). The exception to this is the Squire/Knight transitions, where Knights have full voting power on all issues, Squires can vote only on new members, and lower ranks can not vote at all. (voting comes into play when rule changes are to be made, and other policy decisions).

Most of the membership is concentrated in the greater Washington DC area, due to word-of-mouth, however we have members all over the country, and internationally as well. Membership is also non-exclusive, meaning you may be in whatever other organizations and clubs you want, and we will not see a conflict, so long as those memberships do not reflect badly on us. For instance, you may hold knighthoods in multiple other Orders, and that is just fine.

So please, sit back, enjoy an ale, and join us in some good conversation on the forum. Membership will flow naturally if you're interested in leading the chivalrous life, and have a love for arms and armor, and all things relating to knights.

Also, please consider reading our rules and procedures on the website:

Sir Edward:

I have made some updates to the above.

Please PM me if you have any questions or suggested revisions.

Sir Edward:
We are in the process of updating our rule structure, method of advancement, and membership application process. We'll post some more detail soon. For those looking to join the Order, we're trying to make an application process that makes more sense and is easier to understand. Stay tuned.

Sir Edward:
I have edited the top post in this thread to reflect that we now have a more formal membership application process, with a link to the form.

Please note that during this transition, we're still working out some details and filling the seats of the Review Board, so any new application will probably not be processed immediately. Obtaining the needed sponsorships is still an important part of the process as well.

Sir Edward:

I have updated the top post again with the newest rule updates, concerning voting rights and the membership application process.

We are now starting to process membership applications that were filled out on the website.


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