The first of the honours of the Court of Honour is the Knight Commander. It was a designation conceived by Grand Commander Albert Pike to honor men of outstanding ability and commitment. A Brother must have been a 32° Mason (a Master of the Royal Secret) for at least 46 months before the Supreme Council can vote on his nomination for the honour. In order to nominate a Brother, the Sovereign Grand Inspector General or the Deputy of the Supreme Council in whose Orient the Brother has his primary membership fills out a form, giving the Brother's name, Masonic and other history, and the reasons for his nomination. He then submits the form in advance of the Biennial Session to the Supreme Council. The vote of the Supreme Council must be unanimous.
Masters of the Royal Secret who distinguish themselves by extraordinary services to humanity and/or the Fraternity may be elected to receive the rank and decoration of Knight Commander of the Court of Honour. The number of those who can be admitted to the Court of Honour at any Session of the Supreme Council is limited in accordance with the rule laid down in the Statutes, which expressly provide that more than twice as many Knight Commanders of the Court of Honour may be elected than the number Knights Commanders elected to receive the Thirty-third Degree.
The designation Knight Commander of the Court of Honour (almost always abbreviated as KCCH) is not a Degree. The KCCH is not conferred upon a Brother; he is invested with it. Neither is it a promise nor hint that the Knight Commander will thereafter receive the Thirty-third Degree.