Janeway was thrust into a situation that she was ill prepared for, and yet she still found a way to handle what could have been a very volatile situation with civility, grace, and unquestionable leadership.
Like the members of her eclectic crew, Janeway did not ask to be blasted into the Delta Quadrant, 75 years from home, with a crew made up of part Starfleet officers, part Maquis and part space adventurers (Neelix).
Despite these challenges, a cool head always seemed to prevail with Janeway (unless she was in need of her black coffee, of course). She even strived to become closer and more personable with her crew around her, making her not only a great Starfleet captain, but a warm and compassionate companion to her crew as well.
She was logical and rational, with her #1 goal always being getting her crew home to their homes and families by any means necessary. It could be said that for Janeway, possibly more then any other captain on this list, the fates of her crew were entirely dependent upon her, the decisions she made, and the actions she took.
If any complaint could be made about Janeway, it is that at times she seemed overwhelmed and uncertain of the right decision to make, like if she should fly Voyager through Borg occupied space to continue the journey home or find another way around, as illustrated in the season 3 finally/season 4 premiere “Scorpion parts 1-2.”
At times, Janeway showed signs of doubt and uncertainty, but again, this is more a product of the situation she found herself in, and I’m not sure if any other captain could have done better under the circumstances.
The other four captains on this list were well prepared and well aware of what they were signing up for, but Janeway hadn’t a clue what was in store for her until she, her ship, and her crew were flung 75,000 light years away from earth.
Despite the many challenges that Voyager would face on its way home, Janeway’s resolve never faltered and she carried herself throughout the entire experience with the utmost grace and class. If I had to be 75 years away from home, I can’t think of a better Captain then Katherine Janeway to make sure I got back safe and sound, and I knew she would die trying to make that happen.