Navy Pilot IRL, currently serving
The Navy's 'Flying Warrant' program was rebooted about 7 years ago when I was in flight school. It has since been abandoned. Those flying warrants that are going to continue to fly are transitioning to full officer. It's sad that the program failed and was cut, as it had a lot of promise. In the US Navy, warrants need to hold at least an associates degree, to dispel any myths on becoming commissioned sans education. I understand the sentiment of 'elite-ism' and didn't fully understand the impetus myself until later, but I do now. To command an aircraft is to be ultimately responsible for lives of others and lots and lots of taxpayer dollars. If you make piloting errors or your knowledge of systems is insufficient during emergencies, you will be directly responsible for killing or hurting people and damaging tens of millions worth in military assets. The crucible they put you through to prepare you for that responsibility relies heavily upon critical thinking skills that are focused on in college. That's not to say that those same skills aren't learned through practical application and experience, however, the Navy has chosen to make those minimum requirement be a Bachelors degree. As I previously posted, not all services are like this. The Army's mainstay of pilots are warrant officers. It's a system that works for them with a curriculium that they have developed. The Army also has fully commissioned pilots, but as they promote in rank they take on more of a managerial aspect of aviation and less of an Operational aspect. The Warrants stay flying and get really good at it, being their primary trade. Additionally, to answer your question concerning leadership, to set the record straight, military aviators receive plenty of leadership responsibilities on and off the ground. For instance, my ground job (run in addition to flying) is the officer in charge of 5 NCOs and over 100 sailors.
But I digress. Just wanted to set the record straight and get back on topic. The topic of this awesome game that I have become unheathily obsessed with.
If you listen to the highly entertaining SW audio dramas, it has lots of off screen scenes to augment the overall story. In that, Luke was a crack pilot that Biggs convinces his commanders to allow to run the simulator. Luke crushes the sim (cause he's awesome and the force is with him) so they allow him to fly. The Rebel Alliance had plenty of aircraft but were shot experienced pilots for the battle of yavin. That last part makes NO sense to me as there are usually alwaysire pilots than aircraft, but that's the way the story went. Since Luke was one of three? survivors of the battle of yavin (discluding Han and Chewie who were part of the original attack plan) he quickly moved up the rank and experience structure. From what I gathered, the Death Star generated a lot of sympathy from the alliance, so by Hoth Luke was in on the ground floor of an expanding organization. Although it was funny how many people are at the awards ceremony in a new hope and.... NONE of them could fly? If I were Doddona I would have put anyone that could fly in a cockpit ifs base is about to get pulverized (a la Independence Day). But, then again, it's a movie
. Which may answer your rank question to begin with... They probably went with whatever sounded cool.