USS Constitution

Old Ironsides' Officers & Crew


Commanding Officer | Executive Officer | Command Master Chief | Sailors of the Year | Sailors of the Quarter


The primary mission of USS CONSTITUTION's crew is to preserve, protect and maintain USS CONSTITUTION, America's Ship of State, for the people of the United States and to promote the U.S. Navy and Armed Forces.


USS Constitution commanding officer bio photoCommanding Officer

Nathaniel R. Shick
Commander, United States Navy
75th Commanding Officer
USS CONSTITUTION

Commander Shick is a native of Saint Leonard, Maryland. He graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2000, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. Upon graduation he selected for Officer Candidate School and earned his naval commission in December 2000.

CDR Shick's sea tours include: USS ARTHUR W. RADFORD (DD 968) serving as Communications Officer from 2001-2003, sailing in company with Standing Forces NATO - Mediterranean; USS CLEVELAND (LPD 7) as Combat Information Center Officer from 2003-2005, sailing with the Magnificent Seven (ATF-West) in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM; USS HOWARD (DDG 83) as Weapons and Combat Systems Officer from 2008-2011, sailing in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and STRUGGLE AGAINST VIOLENT EXTREMISTS (SAVE) in the Red and Arabian Seas; and USS NORMANDY (CG 60) as Executive Officer from 2015-2016, sailing in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE in the Arabian Gulf.

Ashore, CDR Shick supported the Defense Itelligence Agency as an All-Source Collections Manager for CENTCOM from 2005-2007; as a Functional Plans Officer for COMPACFLT N5 - Plans and Directorate, 2012-2014; and as Operations Officer for Afloat Training Group Atlantic, 2016-2017.

He received his Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the United States Naval War College and Maritime Advanced Warfighting School in 2012.


USS Constitution Executive OfficerExecutive Officer

John P. Benda
Commander, United States Navy
Executive Officer
USS CONSTITUTION

Commander Benda was raised in Dedham, MA, and graduated from Dedham High School in 1997. He attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. Upon graduation in 2001, he was commissioned as an Ensign through the College of the Holy Cross NROTC program.

His initial sea assignment was onboard USS ASHLAND (LSD 48) as Communications Officer. ASHLAND deployed with Amphibious Task Force East in January 2003 in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM. On this deployment CDR Benda earned his Officer of the Deck and SWO qualifications. His next assignment was to Amphibious Squadron Seven as Assistant Operations Officer embarked on USS BONHOMME RICHARD (LHD 6), which participated in Operation Unified Assistance, a humanitarian operation effort delivering vital relief supplies in the wake of a tsunami that struck South East Asia. During this deployment his other duties were as primary liaison between the Kuwaiti Navy and Expeditionary Strike Group Five while ashore at Camp Patriot, Kuwait Naval Base.

CDR Benda's first shore tour was to Afloat Training Group Pacific as a Training Liaison Officer. After taking several ships through the Unit Level Training Cycle, he was chosen as an individual augment to Joint Task Force 515 Forward as Operations Officer onboard USNS Fred W. Stockham in Support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM. After returning, CDR Benda was afforded the opportunity to achieve a Master's Degree in Global Leadership from the University of San Diego.

CDR Benda served his first department head tour aboard USS GARY (FFG 51) from April 2009 until June 2010 where he deployed to the SOUTHCOM AOR and conducted counter narcotics operations. He was recognized for his efforts by being selected as the Commander Naval Surface Forces Leadership Award recipient. From July 2010 until December 2011 he served as Operations Officer for Amphibious Squadron One, deploying again to the 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility embarked on USS BOXER (LHD 4) in support of theater security operations and national tasking.

Commander Benda is a February 2013 graduate of the Naval War College, and recently completed a 2 year shore tour as instructor and module lead for Expeditionary Warfare at Surface Warfare Officer School in Newport, RI. His last tour was onboard USS ESSEX (LHD 2) where he served as Damage Control Assistant.

His personal awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (five awards), and various other campaign and service awards.

CDR Benda is married to Susan Pilalas and has two daughters, Cynthia, 14 and Sadie Jane, 2.


Command Master Chief Ryan GrayCommand Master Chief

CMDCM Ryan J. Gray
Command Master Chief
USS CONSTITUTION

Originally from Bakersfield, California, Master Chief Gray enlisted in the United States Navy in October of 2000 and attended basic training at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois. Upon completion of recruit training, he attended Seamanship Apprentice Training School and transferred to the Fleet as an undesignated Seaman.

Master Chief's initial sea tour was at BEACHMASTER UNIT ONE, located in San Diego, California, where he completed three deployments serving as Lighter Amphibious Resupply Cargo Commander and Salvage Officer. During this tour he earned his Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist qualification and was designated a Boatswain's Mate, ultimately leading to his advancement to Petty Officer 2nd Class in 2002.

For his following tour, he transferred to Pre-Commissioning Unit BAINBRIDGE in Bath, Maine where he established the Hazardous Material Program. He subsequently served on the USS BAINBRIDGE (DDG 96) out of Norfolk, Virginia, serving as Leading Petty Officer and later advanced to Petty Officer 1st Class in 2006.

He completed his first shore tour at Naval Recruiting District Atlanta from June 2007 to June 2010, where he served as a recruiter at Naval Station Smyrna and Recruiter-in-Charge of Naval Station Douglasville. Master Chief Gray's efforts contributed to three Station of the Year awards, as well as his personal recognition as Regional Special Warfare Recruiter of the Year. It was during this tour that he was selected for advancement to Chief Petty Officer.

His follow-up assignment was aboard the USS WAYNE E. MEYER (DDG 108) as Deck Division and Operations Department Leading Chief Petty Officer, where he lead Operations Department through two Western Pacific deployments. Additionally, he took on several command collateral duties, serving as the Command Managed Equal Opportunity Advisor and Senior Watchbill Coordinator, culminating with his advancement to Senior Chief Petty Officer in June 2012.

Master Chief Gray's current duty assignment is as the Command Master Chief aboard America's Ship of State - USS CONSTITUTION.

Master Chief Gray's decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2 awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (8 awards), Good Conduct Medal (4 awards), and various unit and campaign awards.


Sailors of the Year

YN1(AW/IW)
Patrick Parker
Sailor of the Year
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SH2(AW/SW)
Jeremy Lusk
Junior Sailor of the Year
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SN
Alexander Jones
Blue Jacket of the Year
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Sailors of the Quarter

YN1(AW/IW)
Patrick Parker
Sailor of the Quarter
USS CONSTITUTION

BM3
Thomas Wyant-Cruz
Junior Sailor of the Quarter
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SN
Aundrea Roberts-Dvais
Blue Jacket of the Quarter
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