How did Kirk make Captain so fast

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by ThatsMrCaptaintoyou, Apr 8, 2021.

  1. ThatsMrCaptaintoyou

    ThatsMrCaptaintoyou Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    In the Deadly Years he states that he is 34 that seems way too young for someone to make Captain. All other Captains and and Commodores in TOS we see alive and/or dead (Defiant Captain) seem to have at least 10-15 years on Kirk.
     
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  2. Methuselah Flint

    Methuselah Flint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm not answering this directly - apologies, but I've always had a theory that other captains, commodores, admirals etc are visibly older than Kirk to emphasise Kirk as the young, handsome central character. A typical trope of the '60s.
     
  3. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    He was a stack of book with legs, studying all the time, and served time as an instructor at the Academy. He had several commendations to reflect his accomplishments. I would say he was a bright mind who was recognized for his potential from the get go.
     
  4. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    He was really good at his job.
     
  5. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This. Kirk was supposed to be a prodigy of sorts, collecting commendations in his younger years, with a reputation that suggested he was going to make waves as a captain, at a far younger age than Decker, Pike, Tracey, Wesley, Stone, et al. As McCoy described Kirk to Charlie Evans, Kirk is "one of a kind".
     
  6. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    Great opportunities open up for an officer adept in the art of flying butt slams.
     
  7. diankra

    diankra Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In the TOS era, Captains effectively represent the UFP government years away from home, so they are young, but if they mess up will lose all on return.
    It's very 1800.
     
  8. dupersuper

    dupersuper Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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  9. Quinton

    Quinton Commander Red Shirt

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    This seems like a decent place to inquire: if 34's rather young for the role in TOS, do we reckon the average age of entry is different in other eras?

    Riker's offered captaincy at like 32. Is that also highly exceptional? Dialing back to pre-TOS, Burnham is... what, 31 or so at the beginning of DIS? I always got the vibe that unless you're below-par, the Command Training Program can make you captain by around that time.

    I get the feeling I'm thinking too deeply on this and the answer is "captains are on the older side except when they're not, and when they're not, they're probably central to the story."
     
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  10. Jadeb

    Jadeb Commodore Commodore

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    It makes sense in the context of its times. Kennedy had shown a leader could be young and dashing. Even the names are a bit similar: John F. Kennedy, James T. Kirk.

    I imagine World War II had also led to a lot of younger captains, so 34 probably wasn’t that young, comparatively.
     
  11. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    Because he's James T. Kirk. That's how.
     
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  12. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    His Dad was an officer and he probably saved the world while still at the academy.
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The other captains are old because they are not dead yet.

    Making it to the |:| rank need not be all that time-consuming. Once you're there, though, you want to stay. Opportunities for that abound when a single starship sortie may last for years. And retiring / dying gloriously at the position of starship CO is a fairly common dream in the service, as opposed to making it to a plush desk job as Vice Admiral In Charge Of Utensils. Not surprising if there isn't a salary incentive involved...

    It's rather remarkable that nobody ever makes note of Kirk's young age, not with respect to his achievements, not with respect to his competence or experience, not with respect to his state of mental or physical health, even though every single of these subjects arises and sometimes is central to the plot of an episode. Presumably, then, there's nothing to the myth that Kirk would have achieved things at a particularly early age.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. 1001001

    1001001 Pull Up a Groove and Get Fabulous! Moderator

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    Precisely.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Commodore Commodore

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    well, lets look at his age, and how long he has been in?
    Standard Academy starts at 18? lasts for 4 years like a regular collage, so he's 22 as an ensign? Unless he started Early like Wesley at 16 maybe? So he'd be 20? but for this example lets say 22, so at 34 he's been in service for 12 years, possibly more.
    He may have gotten to Lt. jg in a quick order, maybe if he was top of the class graduated at one, so lets say less than 2 years as an ensign. so by year 5 he's a full Lt. few years there, so by year 8 he's a Lt. Cmd. , there's some non cannon stuff that said he was in command of a destroyer class small vessel, so like today, he may have been "Captain" at a lower rank like Commander. So maybe year 10 he's a full commander, and like Riker, he was offered a command after a couple years.

    So if he showed command abiltiy, and had an exemplary service record, and wanted it bad enough, then yes, its quite possible in that time frame.
    And not even looking at JJ's promotion system in his movies.. :guffaw:
     
  16. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well, it appears Kirk reached the rank of Captain no sooner than 32. But not much later, either.

    That is, we see him with Commander braid in "Where No Man" and then with Captain braid in "Corbomite Maneuver"/"Man Trap"/"Mudd's Women" (depending on which you want to come first - production/airdate/stardate). Unless Kirk is a guest star in Strange New Worlds and suddenly sprouts Captain braid there, much like Pike did, we have it down pat.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  17. Quinton

    Quinton Commander Red Shirt

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    Doors and corners...
     
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  18. 1001001

    1001001 Pull Up a Groove and Get Fabulous! Moderator

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    That's where they get you.
     
  19. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    From what Mitchell said, Kirk was apparently an instructor of some sort as a Lieutenant. I wonder what courses he would have been teaching at that point?
    If Saavik is any indication, Kirk could have still been studying at the academy himself with the rank of Lieutenant (perhaps advanced/graduate/command-level stuff).

    Kor
     
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  20. hofner

    hofner Commodore Commodore

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    How such a pathetic, incompetent loser like Kirk could become Captain at the age that he did will have to remain the totally incomprehensible mystery that it is.

    Robert