Re: Picard qualified to command Enterprise?
Not stated explicitly, but we know that he was one of the youngest captains in the fleet (Conspiracy) that the Stargazer
was his first command (Relics) and that he lost that command nine years prior to taking over the Enterprise
So based on what we believe his age to be, I think 22 years commanding the Stargazer
is a pretty good guess.
"...the most elementary and valuable statement in science, the beginning of wisdom, is I do not know." - Lt. Commander Data, "Where Silence Has Lease"