The Elite Federation, an independent body linked to most of the major organisations in Galactic space, introduced the Combat Rating in a drive to spur pilots towards self-defence. The Galactic Co-operative, at the time stretched to the limits of the police force by pirate activity, fully supported this move, even introducing combat training into thier flight training programme.
Over the years, the Combat rating, now more commonly referred to as the Elite Rating, has become an integral part of any pilot's spacefaring life. Various organisations and departments have offered perks to pilots who attain the top rank that has given the system its name. Elite combateers are considered to be honoured veterans amongst pilots and non-pilots alike.
Simply put, the Elite Rating is a ranking system based on how many kills a pilot has accrued. Recording devices in all weapons systems transmit a signal to the Elite Foundation containing visual images and transponder codes confirming each kill.
The Elite Federation has come under fire from human rights protesters in recent years due to their policy of not questioning what sort of kills are made. They will award kills to pirates and lawful pilots alike without issue. This has opened up many claims that they support piracy and terrorism. the EF answer these charges with the same defence every time: "...it is not our job to protect against lawlessness or to assign blame for actions beyond our control. Our job is to assign ratings. A pirate is still a pirate no matter what his Elite Rating - it is up to the police and the Navy to deal with their crimes."
The current system for ranking pilots is as follows:
Harmless - 0-7 kills
Mostly Harmless - 8-15 kills
Poor - 16-31 kills
Average - 32-63 kills
Above Average - 64-127 kills
Competent - 128-511 kills
Dangerous - 512-2559 kills
Deadly - 2560 - 6399 kills
Elite - 6400+ kills
There have been many variations in the ranking systems in the past, and no doubt will be again in the future, but one thing is certain - the Elite Rating is an integral part of what it means to be a pilot in the 31st century and will be for many years to come.