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Old September 26 2012, 06:36 PM   #79
C.E. Evans
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Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

Warped9 wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
Warped9 wrote: View Post
Incorrect. In the character's bio reprinted in The Making Of Star Trek it says Kirk commanded a destroyer equivalent class starship. This is reinforced by a reference in WNMHGB when Elizabeth Dehner metioning Kirk having asked for Mitchell aboard his first command.
That's incorrect. Or rather, it's your opinion given that there's no onscreen material to support it.

For starters, it doesn't matter if it comes from a book if it doesn't make it onscreen (fans of various reference books written by people who worked on Trek know this very well). Secondly, Dehner's comment doesn't preclude that Kirk's first command was the Enterprise and that Kirk wanted Mitchell to be there with him. So it could go either way--either Kirk was captain of a ship prior to the Enterprise or he wasn't--as there is no way to prove either position from onscreen material.

The only answer to the question in the OP is that there is no official answer, only our personal conjecture and opinions.
I don't think so.
But that's definitely what it is. In the lack of any real onscreen proof either for or against something, all that's left is conjecture and opinion. We fill in the blanks with what we think happened or what fits our own preference of what happened.
J.T.B. wrote: View Post
It's likely he did distinguish himself, but commendations and medals don't contribute to command experience.
But they can be viewed as indications of command ability, and that's obviously what made Kirk a captain more than how many years he had under his belt. If he had to wait a certain number of years to get "the right amount" of experience, he probably would have become a captain later in life.
A bridge "shift" -- or "watch" to use TOS terminology -- wouldn't count for much since if anything important happened the XO or CO would take over.
Tell that to Sulu.
A very unique landing party circumstance, maybe, though COs and XOs seem to take charge of anything important there, too.
Not necessarily, because it isn't a given that every ship in the fleet is run like the Enterprise. Other ships may have officers other than the CO and XO in charge of landing parties.

Additionally, there could be circumstances--usually crisis situations--in which a young officer may distinguish himself or herself in the absence of a senior officer due to being separated, detained, injured, etc.
But it's still not the same as bearing the final responsibility as commanding officer. The best test for the ability to command a large vessel is command of a smaller vessel, that has been naval practice for 300 years.
But it may not be the only way in Starfleet. An officer may prove himself ready for his own command through other means, including service as first officer on a large ship.
Yes, but coming up with plausible reasons for it stretches credulity.
We're talking about Star Trek. Most of it stretches credulity. We either roll with it or we complain about how it isn't like how things are done today.
An educated guess could also be that Kirk was fairly young when he became a captain and that the Enterprise was his first command.
But if Kirk was indeed a high-flyer in his early years, as suggested above, that would make it more likely that he would have been selected for command of a small vessel, not less. That is assuming there are smaller ships, which no one here seems to dispute.
Still doesn't dismiss the possibility. And in the end, Trek is just made up stuff that bows more to creative liberty/dramatic license more to than how things work in the real world today.
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Last edited by C.E. Evans; September 26 2012 at 07:39 PM. Reason: added the word "they"
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