The Order of Defence is one of the four orders of Peerage along with the Order of Chivalry, the Order of the Laurel and the Order of the Pelican.
The governing document  of the SCA states that "The candidate must be considered the equal of his or her prospective peers with the basic weapons of rapier and/or cut-and-thrust combat. The candidate must have applied this skill and/or knowledge for the instruction of members and service to the kingdom to an extent above and beyond that normally expected of members of the Society."
This means that that members of the Order of Defence have been reconised by the Crown for their skills in rapier and/or cut-and-thrust combat along with the 'peerage qualities' of grace, courtesy, chivalry and service. Elevation to the order carries the award of a Patent of Arms and the right for the recipient to style themselves as master or mistress.
The Order of Defence is a polling order, which gives the members of the order the right to vote on and suggest new candidates to the crown for elevation to the order. The Order of Defence of the Kingdom of Lochac will admit to their ranks new members who display excellence in the arts of fencing as well as a high level of courtesy, chivalry, honour and service both within the fencing community of the kingdom as well as within the wider kingdom. Members of the populace of the Kingdom are encouraged to recommend any they think worthy of elevation to the Order of Defence to the order at defenceclerk@lochac.sca.org or to the Crown at crown@lochac.sca.org