It dictates which booth you are seated in at the Officer's Mess. Rank can go a long way to getting you what you want, when you want it. Imperial serving girls, most numerous in the various branches of the Pilot's Lounge chain, are known to be completely at the mercy of those with the rank of Baron and above. Indeed, it's not just a fancy uniform. The payments you'll receive at the higher ranks will be increasingly lucrative. It is possible to hold rank with both navies, but it's not advised you display both at the same time. Even outside the Federation and Empire, independent communities are hardly likely to trust a pilot whose 'loyalties' are so fickle.
Being an Officer in either navy also means being a gentleman. Despite it being totally legal, harsh treatment of slaves is not acceptable for an Imperial officer. Similarly, a Federal officer must act with the utmost decorum when dealing with the troublesome members of the Federation, such as the extreme occupants of van Maanen's Star.
Rank in both navies is based purely on merit, although there have been reports of purchasable commissions in the Imperial Navy, which surprises no one. A simple points system exists, as seen below:
|A successful delivery||2|
|A successful assassination||12|
|A successful photograph.||16|
|A successful bombing||18|
|An excellent photograph||20|
It's quite possible to climb your way slowly up to the rank of Admiral or Prince by completing 10,382 delivery missions, but anyone who does so will probably earn a flogging for abusing the system. The various ranks for both navies are as follows: