C.E. Evans wrote:
I don't think it's unreasonable at all for Starfleet to assign a Constitution-class ship to one of its most capable up and coming officers, especially if that officer has proven himself/herself as a leader ever since graduating from the Academy. Kirk may have leapfrogged over some more experienced people, but such things happen in every occupation.
Depends on how early in Kirk's career you want to assume he started regularly saving the galaxy. Otherwise, one generally demonstrates one's ability to command by commanding
. In TOS, I believe it was mentioned that Kirk was the youngest of the twelve Starship captains (or perhaps it was only in one of the behind-the-scenes books), but otherwise there was no indication that he was considered any kind of special wunderkind.
Could Kirk have been promoted to command of the Enterprise after having served exceptionally as executive officer on another ship? Perhaps. But remember, there are only twelve of those Constitution-class ships.
If you're thinking of the way Kirk "leapfrogged over some more experienced people" to get command of the Enterprise in the 2009 movie, that's totally unrealistic from a military prospective. And remember, many of the people who made TOS had actually served in the military and treated that aspect of the show much more realistically than did any of the spinoffs.