137th Gebirg wrote:
^^^ It's long been implied in trek that an Admiralty means "no command of a ship", and on-screen dialog supports this. In Wrath of Khan, Spock admonishes Kirk that it was a mistake for him to accept promotion and that command of a starship was his "first, best destiny". In Generations, Kirk tells Picard never to accept a promotion and always remain in command of a ship.
Then again, their are also on-screen exceptions. In both Borg incursions into Federation space, Admirals were in command of ships that flagged larger battle groups.
During WWII, Admirals did command ships, but they were always flagships of battle groups and task forces - it's probably considered a purely wartime TDY posting, as it appears to be in Trek. I don't know if they still do it today with our carrier fleets. I'm inclined to say it is a super-rarity, if it's even done at all any more.
Whilst I agree it is likely that in ST, Admirals don't normally command ship. Promotion doesn't have to automatically mean rank. It could mean a positional promotion. i.e your rank remains the same it's just that you are moved into a higher profile role.
Say as a Captain you where commanding an older class vessel, and you where given command of bigger newer vessel. You might consider it a promotion of sorts.
Starfleet could spina good PR story, Admiral Kirk who has just saved Earth has been given command of the refit Enterprise and been dispatched on a new five year mission.
Five years later, Admiral Kirk has ust returned succesfully from another five year mission, in his new positionas Commondant of Starfleet Academy he will help shape a new generation of officers.