Departing Boston in November 1913, Cummings cruised along the Atlantic coast and in the Caribbean until the following June, when based at Newport, she joined the Neutrality Patrol and cruised off the coast until the United States entered into World War I.
Arriving at New York Navy Yard on 12 May 1917 to be outfitted for foreign service, Cummings sailed on 15 May, reaching the Destroyer Base at Queenstown, Ireland on the 26th. She served in the cross-channel escort service under Commander, US Naval Forces Operating in European Waters and also conducted antisubmarine patrols off the southern Irish coast, making contact in 14 encounters. Continuing to serve on escort assignments off the coast of France after the war, she was one of the escorts for George Washington, carrying President Wilson to Brest, France.
Cummings departed French waters on 16 December 1918. From 6 February to 9 April 1919, she joined in destroyer maneuvers and gunnery exercises at Guantánamo Bay. During July and August she operated off Newport; then was in reserve at Philadelphia between August 1919 and March 1921. She returned to operations off the East Coast with the Fleet until placed out of commission at Philadelphia 23 June 1922.
Cummings transferred to the US Treasury Department for the Coast Guard on 6 June 1924. She was returned to the Navy 23 May 1932 and sold 22 August 1934 for scrapping in accordance with the London Treaty for the limitation and reduction of naval armaments.