Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]
The TOS Kirk earned his promotion to master of the Enterprise after proving himself as the captain of a lesser ship.
Source? Because nowhere in the TOS episodes or movies is such a command mentioned. And yes I know about Dehner's line from Where No Man...
and find it vague at best because the Enterprise could have been the command she mentions.
"If I hadn't tried, the cost would have been my soul." - Admiral James T. Kirk, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock