Wesley took exams just before his sixteenth birthday, so he would have been sixteen at least when he entered the academy. that a big leap from 13 years old. We can safely assume since he had not applied before that sixteen is the minimum entry age ( also borne out by Picards statements).
I don't think Picard says anything relevant there - but the Vulcan contestant does mention age requirements and doubts that Wesley would meet them. Wes saying he's gonna be sixteen soon only tells us that "almost sixteen" is enough, though; it doesn't tell what would not be enough.
Wesley is sixteen next month, very soon after - so would enter the academy at age sixteen presumably, young but a reasonable age.
Its safe to assume that sixteen is the minimum age requirement ( possibly depending on when the birthday falls, like an academic year since there are indications Starfleet follows that pattern).
Also, e.g. Picard tried to get in at seventeen, not sixteen, despite being eager to ship out.
That makes Picards statement relevant since his first attempt to gain entry would have been when he was a similar age and not younger. Picards birthday falling at a different point in the year.
Picard being born in July - he entered the academy shortly after his eighteenth birthday. so his failed exam may well have been when he was sixteen - not seventeen.
( and since he exited the academy aged 21 we can deduce graduation was before his birthday FWIW )
And of course Chekov could have gotten in at sixteen, too, being so damn clever that he could graduate in a year.
I'm almost certain Chekov would have gotten in aged sixteen, but Its doubtful he graduated in a year ( something he might well have mentioned when his age was questioned otherwise).
Kirk is meant to be brilliant, and he is approaching graduation in his third year.
So Chekov is an Ensign while still a cadet.
That and the information we have from TOS makes it fairly obvious that Starfleet does not work the way real world military academies do. Which is fine, since as a fictional academy that is partially military three hundred years in the future there is no basis for it being beholden to the real world.
This is fine and well, but not something that the evidence would actually require us to believe.
On the contrary a weight of evidence indicates Starfleet works differently to the real world.
There are the many examples of Cadets holding rank that we see. Its not just a single example we have Kirk in TOS ( as Ensign and Lt) Lt Saavik, and the STXI.
Ignoring all the evidence and twisting the statements made by multiple persons makes any other interpretation increasingly unlikely and becomes more convoluted.
Its not like it's a single example.
Nobody called Cadet has worn commissioned officer's insignia outside the crisis in STXI, and no personal history requires us to believe that such a thing would have happened off screen.
Saavik is a cadet.
Come on Timo, I think we both know thats not a valid argument its an appeal to absurdity.... Very much to the contrary, this argument is just as valid than yours, point by point. Saavik being a female is confirmed by her being addressed by the feminine pronoun multiple times - just like her being a commissioned officer is confirmed by her being addressed Lieutenant. This is English 101. Saavik is also addressed as "Mister", which is contrary to historical precedent; might be an acceptable "futuristic" element because women in naval service were still rare in the 1980s; but in the end is an outlier and an oddity that has very little evidence value. And yes, this is scifi, and a man could have boobs there, but that's really not something we'd wish to actively pursue.
To try and dismiss the logical arguments that Cadets hold rank in Starfleet by saying that the suggestion is like saying Saavik is male is an attempt to attack the proposition without using evidence.
Its an Ad Hominem attack on the idea itself, trying to make it look absurd.
As such it offers no worthwhile counter argument. Logical counter arguments are better for debate, wouldn't you say?
Yet the statement implies that Mitchell met Kirk at the academy, not conclusive in itself but it adds to the weight of evidence that Kirk held rank at the academy. Its clear what the intent of the statement was. We're not talking about intent here,
The intent of the production team and the writers IS important. And The intent is that Mitchell met Kirk at the Academy when he was a LT, around fifteen years ago.
And this is not the only evidence we have of Cadets holding rank.
There is no basis for that statement, nothing says any of the cadets were given rank after the crisis. Nothing going against it, either. And that is the sort of thing even real-world militaries do in dire emergencies: students are rushed through graduation.
Well, we have already established there is no reason to suppose Starfleet works like the real military, and have evidence against it in fact - so we can safely ignore that.
( indeed if we do not, we make an assumption with no basis in fact and end up with another logical fallacy. )
Based on the evidence presented. we see no graduation or emergency field comissions - everyone just reports to their post and does their job.
Thats not unreasonable given final year cadets are obviously more than capable of doing their jobs, as evidenced by Uhura working the monitoring stations and of course the young Mr Chekov.
Again Chekov is a seventeen year old Ensign,
Its also worth noting that Kirk, on academic suspension is a LT. - he does not get a field commission and We see the entirety of Pikes appointing him first officer to Spock and then leaving for the Nerada, - no statement of "activating Kirk as a Lt" on the contrary he says Kirk does not belong there.
Why, if you wish to argue that Kirk should have held the rank of Lieutenant at that very same age? Why would a lower rank prove anything in such a case?
Obviously any cadet holding any rank, as Chekov holding Ensign rank at seventeen indicates, shows that cadets can hold rank - thus its another demonstration of the evidence stacking up to make my case.
Commissioned officers also definitely attend the meetings and quite possibly wear the uniforms. ST2 had the same thing happening: seasoned veterans partook in the activities of cadets and trainees, in the same uniforms (if you believe Saavik was a cadet) or in separate, identifiable ones (if you believe Saavik was a commissioned Lieutenant).
Commissioned officers wear entirely different uniforms. its the cadets that wear red.
Saavik wore a uniform with the red cuff bands and red shoulder strap, something only the cadets do. notably her wrist band has a stripe on it and not any years of service pins.
Valeris FWIW also sports the red undershirt, but her cuffs and shoulder strap are different - denoting department.
(she may well be a recent graduate however, not that the movie indicates any lack of uniforms, TBF).
If I may be so bold Timo, it seems to me that your entire position on this is weighted by the fact that in the real world cadets cannot hold rank. Would you say that if that is not the case then the evidence does indeed make it more likely that Cadets do hold rank, or is there anything else that leads to your position?
Closer to topic - Not quite resigning but I found it interesting to note that Tom Paris was recommissioned by Janeway as a Lt. in Caretaker. Anyone got any thoughts on that? Seems a bit odd he is promoted over other officers.