Given the psychological issues she is dealing with in the season finale I wonder.
How did she get to rank of commander in Starfleet without going through a psycholigical examination or stress testing?
Why wasn't she treated after her parents were killed?
So she is allowed to do whatever, like bring the Terran Emperor on the ship and everyone throws up their hands 'thats Burnham'
And let’s not forget that DISCO, through Tilly, has given us some more info about what it takes to get into command (building on TNG). Tilly just got into the command training program. Did Burnham even complete that??
Daniel, these are all great questions. I was fairly confused about Burnham's entrance into Starfleet to begin with. She doesn't seem to have actually gone through any Starfleet training, but was simply brought to the Shenzhou by Sarek and handed over to Georgiou as some sort of apprentice. This has always baffled me. Not to mention that she was promoted very quickly -- I mean Harry Kim went seven years as an ensign and Burnham made it to commander in only nine.
But I think Kev is right, that Burnham would have passed any of those exams (much like Mirror Lorca) because her behavior problem wasn't triggered until the moment she encountered the torchbearer in the debris field.
I would guess that until the Klingons showed up her emotional flaw was not obvious and she could deal perfectly reasonably in any circumstance, being a highly intelligent and effective officer as we see her at the start of the pilot got her promoted. So she got to the rank of Commander by hard work and excellence.
I don't know that being raised by Vulcans would have given her the emotional support she needed and she probably developed coping mechanisms which allowed her to operate effectively. The Starfleet shrinks didn't exactly have a Klingon they could pull out and confront her with and she has shown that she operates pretty well under stress.
She probably thought that she had come to terms with what had happened and it was not until she was standing face to face with the torchbearer that her carefully constructed shell around those issued was breached.
Any officer on a mission where they are alone or separated from their command structure is expected and allowed to take tactical decisions. As such her bringing the Emperor aboard could be seen as such. A tactical decision taken when opportunity presented itself and there was no time to seek permission. We know that it was in fact an emotional decision not a tactical one but she could justify it as such should she be required to.