Jackals may be superior marksmen and they're very sneaky, but that doesn't make them excellent snipers-they're a little too bloodthirsty for that.
~ Anonymous UNSC serviceman
Kig-Yar (Jackals) are an avian/reptillian species which serve in the Covenant Empire as mercenaries and privateers since they lack the Covenant religion. They are two distinct subgroups of Kig-Yar, which Humans have termed Jackals and Skirmishers. In combat, Kig-Yar serve as snipers, shock troopers, defensive fighters and scouts within the Covenant military due to their excellent senses of sight, smell and hearing. They are usually seen supporting Grunts and other Covenant members in battle.
Zealots are presumably tasked with missions of religious importance to the Covenant, such as artifact retrieval.
Rangers are trained for zero-G EVA combat, and are equipped with vacuum suits and magnetic boots. They wield Covenant Carbines, Storm Rifles and Beam Rifles.
Snipers are the Covenant's foremost long-ranged combatents. They wield weapons like Beam Rifles, Needle Rifles, Focus Rifles and Carbines to snipe enemies with.
Majors are more experienced Jackals and are issued stronger point-defense gauntlets which can be colored Gold, Red and Purple.
These are the lowest ranked Jackals and are armed with standard strength. They can have point-defense gauntlets colored Green and Blue.
Skirmishers is a sub-group of Jackals, who are more agile and stronger than their cousins. They served in the Covenant military like the Jackals, and fought during the Fall of Reach. They take on the role of Assault and Close Quarters Combat as well as Flanking, and wield the following Covenant weaponry: Plasma Pistols, Needlers, Needle Rifles and Focus Rifles.
Skirmisher Ranking Structure
Champions are a specialized group of shock troopers comprising of more heavily built Kig-Yar, deployed on the ground for their viscousness and fierce tactics. They appear as leaders, not being specialists nor infantry.
Members of this rank wear green armor and occassionally use holograms.
Murmillos wield arm shields and have more equipment than other Skirmishers.