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Old January 4 2009, 02:39 AM   #45
J.T.B.'s Avatar
Re: Kirk's status, new timeline- Really so far off? (Contains spoilers

Vigilance wrote: View Post
As an example, Jimmy Doolittle went from Lieutenant Colonel to Major General (three ranks, skipping Colonel entirely) in the span of 5 months. So while ranks are "meant to be used" not everyone progresses through them at the same rate, and sometimes ranks are NOT used.
That's true, but that had more to do with the huge increases in the size of the Army Air Forces in the early days if the war. Such rapid rises are not uncommon in wartime, and are frequently accompanied by a corresponding reduction when the war is over.

Vigilance wrote: View Post
And again, such things were much more common in the navies of old, which is what Trek is closer to.
It may have been more common than today, but it was still pretty rare. Even in the 1797-1815 US Navy, which skewed a lot younger than the Royal Navy, the average officer had 14 years of service before promotion to captain, and none had less than six years.

Franklin wrote: View Post
As far as rising through the ranks quickly goes, George McClellan was a captain by age 21 (1847). He was barely a year out of West Point.
That was a brevet promotion for "gallant and meritorious conduct" in the battle of Chapultepec. His promotion to substantive captain didn't come until 1855. Brevet promotions created many problems and were abandoned by the army in the late 1800s. Their function is much better met by a system of honors and decorations, no one seriously thinks about awarding higher rank in that way anymore.

I don't know what the situation is in the movie, but historical precedents for a newly-minted officer taking an O-6 level command are pretty much limited to battle situations where every intervening level has been wiped out. There is no organization that would gamble such valuable assets on an inexperienced and untried officer, except in dire emergency.

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