Women in the Navy
Throughout most of USS Constitution‘s history, women were not permitted to serve in the U.S. Navy. In the midst of World War II, as some women worked as civilian employees in the Boston Navy Yard, others joined the United States Naval Reserve (Women’s Reserve) after the program was authorized by President Roosevelt on July 30, 1942.
More than 40 years later, Yeoman 2nd Class Rosemarie Lanam became the first enlisted woman to join the crew of USS Constitution in 1985 when she was assigned to the ship’s company by Commander Joseph Z. Brown. In 1988, Karin Cranston became the first female sailor to receive orders to USS Constitution. She was joined in 1989 by Bonnie Brooks. These women paved the way for future female sailors to serve aboard USS Constitution.
In 1996, Lieutenant Commander Claire V. Bloom became the first female commissioned officer to serve on Constitution, marking a turning point in the ship’s long history. Almost 20 years later, in 2022, Commander Billie June (BJ) Farrell became the ship’s first female commanding officer. Today, women comprise approximately 30 percent of the ship’s crew.Read More