BOSTON (NNS) -- USS Constitution crewmembers are taking part in a 12-week training centered on ‘Old Ironsides’ history led by USS Constitution Museum and Naval History and Heritage Command from Jan. 15 – April 9.
During training the crew is educated on how Constitution was manned, trained, and fought during the War of 1812. Crewmembers new ways to engage with the public and present information to visitors coming to see Constitution. After each weekly session, Sailors are able to present more topical information about the command and the Navy’s mission in a way easily related to visitors.
Margherita Desy, lead historian at Naval History and Heritage Command Detachment Boston, USS Constitution Museum’s Public Historian, Carl Herzog, and Manager of Interpretation and Visitor Services, Jennifer Zanolli, lead the training.
Desy, who has been studying Constitution for 21 years, is able to use the training to pass on her knowledge to the crew of Constitution.
“The best part of the training is when questions are asked by the crew that we as the instructors can find out if everyone, or at least that Sailor, is understanding what we’re presenting,” said Desy. “If the Sailor does not understand what we’re presenting, because of what was asked, then that allows the instructors to go deeper into that topic…. It’s through the questions that the real unpacking of that topic happens.”
Constitution’s 75th Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Nathaniel R. Shick, also takes part in crewmember training.
“One of the primary drivers for crew training and what makes the partnership between the USS Constitution Museum and NHHC so unique is that we have senior historians both on the museum staff and NHHC that help establish a baseline of integrity for the Sailors in charge of the interpretations aboard Constitution,” said Shick.
Cmdr. Shick said along with the information presented to the crew about the ship, the crewmembers also learn more about U.S. Navy history. Learning the history of the Navy also prepares crewmembers for operational duties in the Fleet. This information assists with promotions and general knowledge about Navy history and heritage.
Airman Ziven Meyer has been assigned to Constitution since July 2018. He is currently taking part in his first Crewmember Training. As a member of the crew, he is tasked with giving tours to visitors who come aboard Constitution.
“The little details that add on to the qualifications give a more in-depth view into the ship’s history,” said Meyer. “The training has given me more confidence because now I know I can say key points if a visitor has a question. The training allows me to go in-depth and tell them cool facts that I find interesting.”
Constitution, America’s “Ship of State”, actively defended sea lanes against global threats from 1797-1855. The World’s Oldest Commissioned Warship Afloat, Constitution embodies 221 years of maritime heritage and unwavering service to her country. Now a featured destination on Boston’s Freedom Trail, Constitution and her crew of active duty U.S. Navy Sailors offer community outreach and education about the ship's history and the importance of naval sea power to more than 500,000 visitors each year. Constitution is berthed at Pier One in Charlestown Navy Yard.
For more news from USS Constitution, visit www.navy.mil/local/constitution/.