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Old Ironsides will have its first woman commander

In the 224 years of service, the USS Constitution will have its first female commanding officer
Credit: MC2 Jacob Milham/United States Navy

BOSTON — On January 21st, the USS Constitution have a new commander taking over. The 77th commanding officer will be Commander Billie J Farrell.

In the ship's 224-year history, Farrell will become the first female commanding officer.

“I am honored to have the privilege to soon command this iconic warship that dates back to the roots of both our nation and our Navy and to have been afforded the amazing opportunity to serve as USS Constitution’s first female commanding officer in her 224 years,” said Farrell. “I hope to strengthen the legacy of USS Constitution through preservation, promotion and protection by telling her story and connecting it to the rich heritage of the United States Navy and the warships serving in the fleet today.”

The Kentucky native and US Naval Academy graduate previously served aboard the USS Vicksburg (CG 69) as the executive officer.

Bravo Zulu Cmdr. Billie J. Farrell ⚓ 🎉 USS Constitution’s first female commanding officer will take command of Old...

Posted by U.S. Navy on Wednesday, January 5, 2022

"I know the crew is in great hands with Commander Farrell,” said current USS Constitution commanding officer Commander John Benda. “This historic barrier is long overdue to be broken. I cannot think of a better candidate to serve as USS Constitution’s first female commanding officer. I look forward to watching what she and the crew accomplish in the next few years.” 

USS Constitution (nicknamed 'Old Ironsides' during the War of 1812) is the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat, actively defending sea lanes from 1797 to 1855 destroying and capturing 33 opponents.

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