The Elites, or Sanghieli, are some of the toughest and most steadfast of the Covenant's ground combatants, and comprise most of the leadership of the Covenant's field forces. Even the lowest ranking Elite wears significant armor and personal energy shielding over a seven foot tall physique that is considerably stronger than any unaugmented human. Higher ranking Elites are equal even to the UNSC's Spartan II Supersoldiers.
The Brutes, or Jiralhanae, are one of the most recent additions to the multitudinous races of the Covenant, and one of the most zealously devoted to the Theocracy's 'Way.' As they are also very large, powerful, and heavily armed, this can make them fearsome opponents indeed. A Brute, while usually wearing less sophisticated shielding than an Elite, is nonetheless well armored, and typically will carry heavier firepower than Elites, albeit less technologically advanced, in most cases. As if the above reasons were not enough cause for concern, Brutes are known to enter a berzerk, killing rage when wounded or their pack memebers are slain.
Until next time kids!