Cmdr. Billie J. Farrell was on site with the children in Camp Eastman Summer Camp today. She talked about the history of the U.S.S. Constitution. She is the 77th Captain, and the first female Captain of the U.S. Naval Warship commissioned in 1797.

Cmdr. Billie J. Farrell is the first woman commander of the U.S.S. Constitution, a 224-year-old warship nicknamed Old Ironsides, and the oldest commissioned warship in the U.S. Navy. The ship is based in Boston, where Cmdr. Farrell lives with her husband, Paul Farrell, also in the Navy, and their two children, ages 6 and 3. Cmdr. Farrell will visit Camp Eastman at the Torigian Family YMCA where she will discuss her leadership on the U.S.S. Constitution and her roles as a naval officer with children enrolled in the summer camp.

Her interest in the Navy started at the age of 10 years old after watching a naval graduation on television. She joined the Navy at the age of 17.

A camper asked, what advice would you have for us kids?

It’s really important to find good mentors and surround yourself with positive people, people who want you to do well.  

Favorite part of being on the ship?

Meeting the guests and sharing the story of the USS Constitution, I also like quiet time on the ship, where I can look at the names of the past commanders and reflect on the history of the ship.

After the Commander’s lecture, a group of girls ran up to her and asked her more questions about the Navy and how she became a Commander. It was a fun and inspiring event for all.