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Billie Farrell becomes 1st woman to command USS Constitution

FILE - Billie J. Farrell is pictured in Charlestown, MA on Jan. 6, 2022.

On January 21 B.J. Farrell will take over as the 77th Commander of the USS Constitution and become the first woman in that role. Women have assumed leadership positions throughout the Navy, so it was only fitting that a woman for the first time Friday took command of the U.S.S.

Constitution — the Navy's most historic vessel.Cmdr. Billie J. Farrell, 39, during a ceremony that started on land and ended on board, became the 77th commanding officer of the 224-year-old warship that earned the nickname Old Ironsides when British cannonballs bounced off its hull during the War of 1812."Of course, in our modern Navy, women have already commanded at all levels, but not this ship, the public's most accessible commissioned vessel, America's naval heritage," Rear Adm.

Shoshana Chatfield, president of the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, said during the ceremony at Boston's Charlestown Navy Yard.FILE - Cmdr. Billie J. Farrell speaks as she relieves Cmdr.

John A. Benda to become the 77th commanding officer of USS Constitution at the ship's change of command ceremony. (Petty Officer 3rd Class Alec Kramer)Farrell's appointment is an inspiration to others, she said."I can only hope that a new generation of people are inspired by seeing a woman as the captain of our ship of state, recognizing that for them too, there is no limit to what they can accomplish," Chatfield said.Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro said during the ceremony that Farrell, who most recently served as the executive officer aboard the guided missile cruiser U.S.S.


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FILE - Billie J. Farrell is pictured in Charlestown, MA on Jan. 6, 2022.
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