Bob was played by Star Trek film writer and producer Harve Bennett wearing a Starfleet uniform with a fleet admiral's rank insignia. He was referred to solely as "Bob" by Kirk, referenced in the script as "THE STARFLEET COMMANDER" and, in a line cut from the film, he was identified as a Starfleet Operations officer. . The end credits listed the character as "Starfleet Chief of Staff".
The name "Robert Bennett" was first proposed by the Star Trek Encyclopedia (4th ed., vol. 1, p. 77), with the reason for the name being that Harve Bennett played the character, and was later adopted by StarTrek.com's article on him, as well as non-canon novels written by William Shatner (with Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens). In J.M. Dillard's novelization of Star Trek V the character was named "Bob Caflisch" and had been, at one point, Kirk's subordinate at Starfleet Command.