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Old September 29 2012, 07:49 PM   #139
J.T.B.'s Avatar
Re: Did Kirk captain any ship before Enterprise?

I'm surprised anyone would think that Enterprise was probably Kirk's first command, or that anyone would prefer to think that.
It's not that big of a stretch, given all the other more outlandish things that happens in Trek.
That implies that, absent any solid evidence, something "outlandish" is equally as likely as any other possibility. I disagree, and would say that authorial intent (TMoST), internal reference (WNMHGB), historical precedents, the prestige and status of Enterprise's class ("Court Martial," "Tomorrow Is Yesterday," "Bread and Circuses"), and the obvious desire of Starfleet to have its best officers commanding its smaller vessels as well as large all combine to make a stronger case for Kirk having commanded a ship before Enterprise than not.

For all we know, a senior admiral of his acquaintance may have recommended him or even wrote the orders for him to take command.
Yes, Starfleet may have reverted to personnel practices that were already discredited in the 1700s, but it doesn't seem likely.

"Although I agree there is no reason to believe the original Enterprise 1701 was Starfleet's flagship, the term flagship does not just apply to ships carrying flag officers, even if that's where it originated."
There is no reason to believe the original USS Enterprise was Starfleet's flagship considering hints that suggest this position had already been taken by the USS Lexington:
a) it's commanded by Commodore Robert Wesley (and not just a captain like Kirk or Tracey)
b) the bridge command chair is noticably higher than on Enterprise, Exeter or Defiant
c) the Lexington's "flower" insignia is worn by most Starfleet personnel that does not serve on a specific starship.
Certainly the flagship of that task force or cruiser group or whatever you prefer. But I don't see how that extends to a flagship for the whole of Starfleet. Shirley that would involve a higher-ranking officer than a commodore, and the best evidence indicates that Starfleet's top officer is based in San Francisco, not aboard a starship somewhere.

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