OSMTH is an international organization structured in national Grand Priories, and further in local Priories or, for smaller groups, Commanderies. There is never more than one Grand Priory for each country, and individuals cannot be simply "members of OSMTH" without being members of a national Grand Priory or an autonomous Priory/Commandery.
Exception is made, however, for those Templars serving in the multination NATO organization for whom it is difficult to accede to a local Grand Priory. They are grouped into the supranational body called the Grand Priory of NATO, hosting NATO officers from different countries and not bound geographically.
The Council of Grand Priors (the "Grand Council") is the legislative body of OSMTH that decides on statutes, guidelines, policy and procedures. The yearly meetings are open to the public, but of course only the Grand Priors, who are the elected representatives of their national constituency (Grand Priories), have right of vote. The "one country, one vote" system is implemented to ensure that large Grand Priories (e.g., the USA) do not overpower more modest ones (e.g., Austria). Small Priories outside national Grand Priory jurisdiction (typically, Templar groups recently affiliated with OSMTH that have not yet reached the minimum size of a Grand Priory), do not have right of vote but have consultative status.
The decisions taken in the Grand Council are valid for the whole of the Order, unless three Grand Priories submit a veto. Grand Priors, as well as Priors and Commanders at the local level, are elected by their national constituents. With the approval of the same, they appoint their aids for a period not exceeding their own term. OSMTH has a ceremonial head, the Grand Master. Currently, the Grand Master is Rear-Admiral James J. Carey, former Chairman of the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission and Commander of the US Navy Readiness Command region six, and former Division Director of Logistics Plans and Policy for Naval Operations at the Pentagon. Executive head is the Grand Commander, elected for a period of three years.
The Order has adopted and cherishes forms of behavior and ceremonies based on the chivalric tradition. Qualified men and women join a Priory or a Commandery as simple "Knights" and "Dames" (in the Order, men and women have equal rights, opportunities and responsibilities). If they distinguish themselves in service and merit, they may be promoted by the national Grand Prior to the rank of "Officer" or "Commander," and further to "Grand Officer" and "Grand Cross." Some priories also welcome Companions, men and women of good will who wish to support the goals of the Order without becoming full members (because of personal circumstances or because they are not Christian).
The symbol of the Order is the red Croix Pattée, of course derived from the cross of the medieval Knights Templar. Single Grand Priories, at the national level, may also use the other traditional symbols associated with the Templar heritage: a red Maltese Cross or a red Patriarchal Cross, or a combination thereof. During Church services, members wear a white cape with one of these symbols.