Female CO will command US aircraft carrier for first time

A historic first time a female commanding officer will lead one of the Navy’s 11 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.

The Navy announced in late December 2020 that Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt will assume command of USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), marking the first time a female commanding officer will lead the crew of one of the Navy’s 11 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.

Capt. Bauernschmidt poses for a roster photo. U.S. Navy Courtesy Photo 

Bauernschmidt will take command of Lincoln this summer, upon completion of the nuclear power, aviation, and leadership training required of aircraft carrier COs.

“I am incredibly honored and humbled to be selected,” said Bauernschmidt. “I love leading Sailors and I take that responsibility extremely seriously.”

Bauernschmidt was also the first woman to serve as the executive officer aboard an aircraft carrier, a position she held from September 2016 to January 2019, also on the Lincoln.

Bauernschmidt is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and graduated from the United Stated Naval Academy in May 1994, the first graduating class in which women were allowed to serve aboard combatant ships and aircraft.  

She was designated as a Naval Aviator in 1996 and served with several helicopter squadrons throughout her career. She has previously commanded the “Spartans” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 70 and amphibious transport dock USS San Diego (LPD-22).

Image credit: Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

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