By 2179, he held the rank of commander, and the newly promoted Captain Ikushima choose DePalma as his first officer on the USS Benjamin Franklin. Their first mission was to apprehend a pirate named "Billy Devil". Ikushima defeated a fleet of pirate vessels in Sol's asteroid belt, called the Battle of the Belt, but was unable to capture the pirate who committed suicide by destroying his own ship.
Two years later, Captain Ikushima died in the line of duty, however DePalma want on to have an illustrious career in Starfleet and by the 2210s he became a senior admiral. His crowning achievement occurred when he was captured by a Klingon warship. Admiral DePalma managed not only to escape, but to capture the Klingon vessel and deliver it and it's crew of fourteen to Starfleet Command. He wrote a book titled Nine Days Behind the Line about experiences that was still read more than a hundred years later. (TNG novel: The Haunted Starship)