I level my KDF toons outside the story line due to its easier and faster and it occurred to me at lv10, lv20, and lv30 I was not getting the "Promotion" missions to get my free ships like on the FED side.
I asked around for hours and no one had any idea why. Many thought it should just be under available missions. Some said, "Did you spend enough Skill Points?" All to which were not the answer. I tried searching the forum for an answer but that yieled no results.
I finally figured out that you MUST complete the mission "Test of Mettle". By doing this mission you get your free lv10 ship and all subsequent promotions and free ships.
There are a few things that pisses me off however. First, at level 10 this mission SHOULD but DOES NOT automatically pop up to be accepted that way you can do the mission and complete it. Second, no where is it stated that by NOT doing the mission you will NOT be granted all future promotions or free ships that you EARNED. Third, from the Episode Mission tab it should be clearly stated that this mission is your Lv.10 Promotion mission and it MUST be done in order to progress further through the ranks and IF you choose not to complete the mission YOU WILL NOT GET ANY PROMOTION MISSIONS FROM J'MPOK until it is completed.
"when you're out of Birds of Prey, you're out of ships."
Look into Vanilla PvP if you're tired of the endless pursuit of grind, utterly unbalanced selections of geardo-inspired traits, and generally unbalanced and careless 'development' made mostly to turn this game into a second job.
The storyline is part of your characters overall development and contains trigger events that enable you to proceed. Fed and Romulan stories have them as well.
While it's possible to level a toon quickly outside of these events, in all cases your toon will not move forward without completing key events.
Fed and Rom-Fed do not have a story mission that MUST be completed in order to promote further in rank and gain the free ships that accompany them. On the fed side when you simply hit those levels (10,20,30,40) there is a mission that pops up "Promotion".
On the KDF side you only get this "Promotion" mission for (20,30,40) IF you have done "Test of Mettle" already and that is where the issue comes in. NO WHERE does it say that mission MUST be done. I have around 40 toons that are VA prior to LoR release and I was never forced to do any mission to receive a promotion or my free ship. Its fine if cryptic wants to make you do that but they need to CLEARLY STATE that this mission needs to be done.