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Admirals in Star Trek tend to be middle-aged or elderly. Meanwhile, Kirk became a Captain in his early to mid 20's in the Kelvin-verse. I am trying to set a lower bound on the age at which one could reasonably be promoted to the rank of Admiral in Starfleet. Ideally, I would like to know the lowest age at which a Starfleet officer is known to have held the rank of Admiral. They do not need to appear on screen at this age as long as the age they had at the time of their promotion can be inferred from canon materials.

Rear Admirals, Vice Admirals, etc all count as "Admirals" for the purpose of this question. If they are referred to as "Admiral so-and-so", they're an Admiral.

The age of the actor portraying an Admiral can be used as a lower bound on the age of the Admiral themselves at the time of the portrayal, since humans tend to be healthier and have longer lifespans in Star Trek. But since this is a lower bound, an actor being young does not prove that their character is young. Feel free to include and consider actor age in your answers but do not depend exclusively on actor age as proof of youth. Actor age is irrelevant for portrayals of non-human characters or animated characters.

I am only concerned with chronological age, not biological age, so incidents of de-aging such as Admiral Jameson in "Too Short A Season" should be ignored.

All paramount-licensed films and television shows are considered canon.

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    Kirk was considered a quite young captain - if not the youngest for the time - if he was 32 as captain and 37 as Admiral that's the lower bound to beat. Per the Motion Picture Novelization a motivation for promoting Kirk was to keep him alive for public relations reasons - Starfleet got a reputation as a death trap and they wanted one deep space explorer make it back. So in strict canon you'd have to find a young Captain and be a fast tracked Admiral and that's where it gets hard. Not everyone is as dangerous as Janeway to not put behind a desk and she likely was for public relations too. Feb 25 '21 at 4:06
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Kirk, at least according to an EU novel that was set to be published in 1986. The novel (including the text below which explicitly states that he's the youngest) was approved by Paramount in terms of content, but ultimately rejected due to its religious themes, which resulted in the book being first shelved, then cancelled. Here Kirk is mulling over becoming an admiral, which he does later in the book.

The most difficult decision of my career. Can't say that either. "Delete last paragraph."

The indicated text winked out of existence. Am I that afraid of what they'll think? He never used to edit his log entries. Of course, he'd never been up for an Admiral's star before either. Not yet forty years old, the youngest Admiral in Starfleet history ...

Smell the coffee, Jim. Nogura would have promised anything to get someone else to lead the combined space fleets against the Being. He can sit in his plush office in San Francisco and leave it to Jimmy boy to face that thing ...

Star Trek: Armada - by Robert J. Sawyer

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  • Interesting, I didn't know unpublished Star Trek novels were available online!
    – RobertF
    Sep 12 '21 at 21:08
  • @RobertF - In this instance, the author self-published it.
    – Valorum
    Sep 12 '21 at 21:21
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Kathryn Janeway is seen with the rank of Vice Admiral in "Star Trek: Nemesis" in 2379 having been promoted after Voyager's return home the previous year.

Based on conversations about tennis in "Deadlock" and "Future's End Part 1" Janeway was 12 years old in 2354 meaning the she was roughly 37 years old when she reached the rank of Vice Admiral putting her in contention with Kirk for being the youngest.

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  • You are going to have to do an awful lot better than that at defining her age since there are equally good descriptions elsewhere in the show that contradict this and make her slightly older.
    – Valorum
    Sep 12 '21 at 17:27

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