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Old September 1 2013, 06:09 PM   #53
Re: Resigning from Starfleet

Kirk held rank at the Academy, but obviously only after graduation. We know he was an instructor there, teaching classes: that's rather more likely to happen after graduation than before it.
This is far from obvious as the conversation proves and indeed the timelines available on the ST website and the Star Trek chronology ( and I realise they are not canon, however if it was THAT self evident that Kirk was not an ensign until graduation then they would not have him having that rank before.)
Opinions on NuTrek obviously vary but we see cadets with rank in that ( not least our seventeen year old Chekov).

We do klnow that Starfleet medical takes 8 years however No, we don't.
We know that Beverly took eight years to graduate from her Starfleet profile which was shown clearly on screen, and we know she was 18 when she entered the academy ( same document) - seems logical that she studied medicine at the academy and that the course took eight years not four. Julian's statements seem to back this up as well.

To be accurate, we don't know that his assignment aboard the Republic at Ensign rank was his first. But we have reason to think that it did not take him away from the Academy, because he later says that one Captain Garrovick, known for his command of the Farragut rather than the Republic, was his CO from the day he left the Academy - and we know he was at the Academy at Lieutenant rank, teaching classes.

We can thus either assume that he stayed at the Academy as a postgraduate, under various commanders, or that he graduated and started serving under Garrovick, who in turn jumped from Republic to Academy to Farragut in some not particularly well known sequence. The former seems a lot simpler to me, especially in light of what we know of starship commanders. Why would the prestigious Garrovick choose to become the boss of some shore-bound teachie for a while?
This all makes the assumption that Command school is not part of the basic program for Command cadets, and there is no evidence for that at all. Indeed the Abramsverse and STII having Kirk being a cadet while taking the Kobyashi maru seems to confirm it ( and adds weight to Saavik being a cadet at the academy too).

That said its not impossible that Kirk was commisioned as ensign on the Republic under Garrovick then transfered with him to the Faragut. However we know that his first survey mission was early in his career and we know when the Farragut was destroyed. Jaime Finney's age also comes into play here ( on the other hand it makes the "some years later comment" make more sense).
That being the case we can have Kirk teaching at the academy after the Farragut incident - not sure if that fits with the length of time Mitchell is said to be friends with Kirk though.

Here it should be pointed out that Kirk in both universes was very much an undergraduate when taking the Kobayashi Maru test. In the nuMovies, this is explicitly shown; in ST2, it's explicitly said that "Cadet" Kirk defeated the no-win scenario.

This doesn't deviate from the real world, either. Ambitious students can include elements of the postgraduate curriculum into their graduate studies, and Kirk certainly aimed ambitiously at command. Saavik, on the other hand, was seen wearing Sciences colors in ST3; she may well have deferred any command ambitions of hers to a later date, including the relating special courses and tests.
Again there is no basis for the assumption that Command school is a post graduate thing. As mentioned before the NuTrek universe certainly has cadets holding rank - FWIW the (again non canon to be fair) Starfleet Academy game has Command school as the last two years of curriculum for exceptional students ( though it is worth baring in mind that non canon does not automatically mean not true, just that future writers are not bound by it, its never been contradicted either).
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