24 January 2022
From Petty Officer 2nd Class Grant Grady, USS Constitution Public Affairs
BOSTON – Cmdr. Billie Farrell relieved Cmdr. John Benda as commanding officer of USS Constitution during a change of command ceremony, Jan. 21.
Cmdr. Farrell became Old Ironsides’ 77th commanding officer and the first woman to serve as the ship’s commanding officer in the ship’s 224 years of history, dating back to 1797.
“There is a picture floating around of me standing next to this remarkable ship back in 1998,” said Farrell. “I could never have imagined that 24 years later that I’d be here today taking command of Old Ironsides. USS Constitution serves as a living piece of history. She can be visited and experienced firsthand, connecting us to those who had a vision of what this country and government would be. She is also a somber reminder of those service members that gave the ultimate sacrifice on her decks to create the nation we know today.”