King Daniel wrote:
In the novel The Valiant, the Stargazer's captain and first officer were killed, and Picard took command. He kept it.
Ditto Dax on the USS Aventine in the post-series novels.
But... But.... But.... Enterprise's Captain, Captain Pike, was not killed. And Enterprise returned to Earth after the mission. Kirk was a cadet about to be reprimanded for cheating. Not to mention being a stowaway. But as long as he ends up Captain, it doesn't matter how he gets there.
He gave his life for his crew without a second thought. He did not save Earth, he didn't even stop Khan, but he saved those important to him.
He did not do it for shits and giggles.