At the helm of history

This week’s guest on The American Legion Tango Alpha Lima podcast is Cmdr. B.J. Farrell, the first female commanding officer of the USS Constitution in its 224-year history.

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The USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship still afloat. “She’s definitely a special ship,” Farrell said. “And this is a special duty assignment for the Navy. Our mission is to preserve, promote and protect the legacy of the ship.”

In October, the ship will turn 225 and a year-long celebration is planned. All former crew members are being invited to the kickoff event in Boston Harbor. Following that celebration, the plan is to share the ship’s history with Americans.

“Twice in its history, the American public have actually saved the ship when the Navy was going to do away with her,” Farrell said, adding that various contests are being developed. “We’re looking for as many ways as possible to engage the public. We’re looking to make it as accessible to people as we can.”

Farrell is a member of Bunker Hill American Legion Post 26 in Charlestown, Mass. “They’ve been great and supportive and I’ve loved all my interactions.”

Learn more about Farrell’s experience, the ship’s history and more in this week’s episode. And see this month’s edition of The American Legion Magazine for a story about Farrell.

It is among 140 that are all available in both audio and video formats here. You can also download episodes on iTunes, Stitcher or other major podcast-hosting sites. The video version is available for viewing at the Legion’s YouTube channel.