I still haven't had anyone convince me Star Trek devolved with these films...
Cadet Kirk promoted to captain?
Such as a not-even-one term US Senator elected as POTUS?
That analogy is bad, and you should feel bad.
A three year cadet of the naval academy becoming commanding officer of an aircraft carrier after one mission, that's the better analogy.
There's a crisis in Japan, but the entire fleet is in the Mediterranean Sea. So they equip several cruisers and aircraft carriers with a bunch of cadets to rush to the emergency in Japan. A rogue cadet who has been suspended illegally boards one of the aircraft carriers, makes his way to the bridge and confronts the commanding officer. He gets promoted to first officer and leads a mission to stop a terrorist weapon. The commanding officer gets captured by the terrorists, the rescue fleet is completely destroyed, and Tokyo is nuked. The second in command exiles the rogue cadet on a deserted island just because they have a difference in opinion. The cadet meets an engineer who got exiled as well. They steal a helicopter and get back on the aircraft carrier. They are brought to the bridge, where the cadet annoys the XO so much that he suffers a major nervous breakdown. After that, everyone is totally perplexed, and the CADET has to take command.
They then proceed to stop the terrorists to nuke San Francisco. The cadet and the XO board the terrorist ship and destroy it.
And then, the cadet gets promoted to commanding officer of the aircraft carrier. Because in that one mission he proved his capability to manage an entire aircraft carrier, and because the fleet apparently ran out of ships and officers.
The story is beyond stupid.
What makes it even funnier is that Kirk gets demoted again after Pike realizes how stupid it was to put him into the Captain's chair so soon.