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"But if you pull a stunt like that again I'll court martial you or I'll promote you. Either way you'll be in a lot of trouble."

A promotion was an honorable upgrade of a rank.

In Starfleet, in the 24th century, the promotion ceremony involved pinning the pip of the new rank on the officer's collar by their commanding officer, or some equivalent thereof. (DS9: "The Adversary"; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Star Trek Into Darkness; TNG: "Lower Decks"; VOY: "Revulsion", "Unimatrix Zero") The Deep Space Corps Selection Board was the Starfleet entity responsible for reviewing the eligibility of in-the-zone or above-the-zone promotion of an officer. (TNG: "The Measure Of A Man", okudagram)

James T. Kirk's promotion to captain

In 2258, James T. Kirk was promoted to captain of the USS Enterprise by the Starfleet Academy Board, for saving Earth from Nero. Admiral Richard Barnett pinned a medal to Kirk's dress uniform to signify his new rank. (Star Trek)

Shortly before his death in 2358, Ensign Phil Wallace of the USS Pegasus was seriously considered for a promotion. (ENT: "These Are the Voyages...")

In 2364, Captain Jean-Luc Picard turned down the promotion to commandant at Starfleet Academy, giving the reason he was not good in politics. (TNG: "Coming of Age")

In a 2367 entry in his personal log, Data mentioned that there have been four promotions aboard the USS Enterprise-D that day. (TNG: "Data's Day")

One of the reasons why Keiko O'Brien wouldn't leave Deep Space 9, though the space station did not need a botanist, was the passing opportunity for her husband of a promotion. (DS9: "A Man Alone")

Worf's elaborate ceremony

In 2371, the senior staff of the USS Enterprise-D used a ceremony incorporated into an elaborate holodeck recreation of a 19th century sailing ship, for Lieutenant Worf's promotion to lieutenant commander. Commander William T. Riker indicated that this was a tradition for Enterprise senior staff promotions. This included having the newly ranked officer trying to grab an officer's bicorne hat hanging out over a plank. Worf was the first officer to not fall into the holographic ocean. (Star Trek Generations)

Toddman threatened to promote Sisko if he ever disobeyed orders again. (DS9: "The Die is Cast")

The same year, Commander Benjamin Sisko was promoted to captain. His son, Jake, placed the fourth pip on Ben Sisko's collar at the promotion ceremony on Deep Space 9. (DS9: "The Adversary")

In 2372, Commander Benteen was promoted to captain by Admiral Leyton, and given command of the USS Lakota. (DS9: "Paradise Lost")

In 2373, Arandis was promoted to chief facilitator of the Temtibi Lagoon on Risa. (DS9: "Let He Who Is Without Sin...")

Tuvok promoted

In 2374, on stardate 51186.2, Lieutenant Tuvok was promoted to lieutenant commander on board the USS Voyager during a promotion ceremony presided over by Captain Kathryn Janeway in Voyager's mess hall. (VOY: "Revulsion")

In 2377, Tom Paris was promoted back to lieutenant junior grade following a previous demotion to ensign. The ceremony took place when he started his duty shift to find a box containing his new pip at his station. (VOY: "Unimatrix Zero")

In 2380, Beckett Mariner was promoted from Ensign to Lieutenant in a scheme by Captain Carol Freeman to get her daughter off the USS Cerritos. The scheme failed and Mariner was demoted back to Ensign after insulting a Vulcan admiral. (LD: "Moist Vessel")

Later that same year, Ensign Bradward Boimler was promoted from Ensign to Lieutenant junior grade and reassigned to the USS Titan at the recomendation of Commander Jack Ransom. (LD: "No Small Parts")

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