kirk's character in the new movies is going through a major character arc of responsibility.
Kirk in the first film went through an arc of learning and giving up his habit of being a smart-ass dickhead.
Kirk in the second film took 2 steps back in order to make the same tedious 1 step forward that it had already made previously. Yawn.
Kirk being repeatedly rewarded with hero status and promotion despite continually being an unlikable little shit is one of the poorer parts of these films.