Legendary USS Constitution gets first female commanding officer in its 224-year history

Frigate was launched in 1797 when George Washington was president.
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The USS Constitution at Boston
The USS Constitution at Boston
(James Lemass/Getty)

The legendary USS Constitution—the oldest ship in the world still afloat and one that was in service when President George Washington was in office—received its first female commanding officer this week, marking a major development in the ship’s 224-year history.

Cmdr. Billie Farrell is now captaining the warship, which was launched in 1797 after being built by the famed Hartt Shipyard in Boston. 

“To be the commander of her, and have ties to the heritage of our Navy and our country, is just an unbelievable experience," Farrell told CNN

"And to be the first woman to do it is also special because there are so many women serving our country right now, and so I get a chance to represent them."

The Constitution famously saw battle in the War of 1812 and in the years since has been used for various training and ceremonial purposes.