U.S. Navy Picks its First Female CO for a Nuclear-Powered Carrier

abraham lincoln
Capt. Bauernschmidt aboard the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, 2018 (USN)

By The Maritime Executive 12-24-2020 01:49:00

The Navy has announced that it has selected its first female commanding officer for a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt will soon take command of USS Abraham Lincoln, marking the first time a female CO will lead the crew of one of the Navy’s 11 supercarriers. 

Bauernschmidt will take command of USS Lincoln this coming summer, after she completes 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 on board the Lincoln. She is also the first female officer selected for consideration for an aircraft carrier command by the Navy's major command screening board.

Bauernschmidt grew up in 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, racking up more than 3,000 flight hours. She has previously commanded Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 70 and the amphibious transport dock USS San Diego.

USS Abraham Lincoln returned to San Diego earlier this year, and she is currently pierside for the long period of routine maintenance and training between carrier deployments.