T’Pol is the first Vulcan officer to serve a prolonged term on a human vessel. The previous record was 10 days; by comparison, T’Pol served aboard the Enterprise for ten years (2151-2161). As a Sub-Commander serving the Vulcan High Command, she was stationed aboard the Enterprise in April 2151, as an observer to Captain Jonathan Archer and his crew, whom the High Command insisted were not ready for interstellar space exploration. After the success of the Enterprise’s initial mission led to the vessel being given an extended exploration mandate, T’Pol requested to stay aboard.
T’Pol remained aboard the Enterprise despite several attempts by her superiors to recall her to Vulcan. T’Pol’s decision brought considerable scrutiny upon her from her superiors, and increasing support for her from her captain; she ultimately resigned from the High Command and accepted a field commission from Starfleet in 2154, resulting in her being given the Starfleet field rank of Commander.