Navy Names Its First Woman to Command a Nuclear-Powered Aircraft Carrier

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For the first time in its history, The U.S. Navy has named a woman to lead one of its nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.

On New Year’s Day, the Navy announced that Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt will assume the role of commanding officer next summer aboard the Nimitz-class USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) after completing the nuclear power, aviation, and leadership training. The training is required for all aircraft carrier commanding officers.

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Bauernschmidt, who hails from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1994. She was part of the first graduating class in which women were allowed to serve aboard combatant ships and aircraft. She became a Naval Aviator in 1996 and commanded the “Spartans” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 70 and amphibious transport dock USS San Diego (LPD-22).

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

This is not Bauernschmidt’s first “first.” She was also the first woman to serve as the executive officer aboard an aircraft carrier, which she did aboard the Lincoln from 2016 to 2019.

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