Formed in 2805 after the great surge in private ownership of smaller starships, the Pilots Federation soon found a role as a conduit for trade route information exchange between trusted pilots, and provided the infrastructure for a mutual protection scheme against the rising scourge of interstellar piracy.
The Pilots Federation's zero tolerance policy regarding dishonourable behaviour among its members is enforced by a system of bounties automatically placed on the heads of transgressors.
There is a galaxy-wide respect for the badge, worn with pride by members. However, the organization's official adoption of the nine-level ‘kill tally' ranking system (Harmless through to the coveted Elite status) ensured the Pilots Federation retained a level of bloodthirsty notoriety.
Today, the Pilots Federation rewards pilots skilled in Trade and Exploration with a similar ranking system, reflecting the changing role of the organization and the galaxy’s independent Commanders.
Over the centuries the Pilots Federation has remained secretive in nature and neutral in conflicts, and has grown into one of the dominant financial superpowers of the galaxy through its GalNet data network.
It's not surprising that an organization founded on status, and with such influence and power, has several cliques (The Dark Wheel being the most infamous). Or that those of Elite rank have further exploited their status and the incredible demand for their services, by forming an organization within an organization: the Elite Pilots Federation.
The Pilots Federation has eschewed being tied to any particular system in favour of roaming the stars. With one exception: the Founders World, governed by the Elite Pilots Federation, and run exclusively for the benefit of their members. Its location is closely guarded, heavily protected, and the subject of extensive misinformation on GalNet.
Maybe someday you'll join the Elite who travel there.