After fitting out, Worden departed Puget Sound on 1 April 1935 for a shakedown cruise that took her first to San Diego and thence along the coast of Lower California and Mexico to San Jose, Guatemala, and Punta Arenas, Costa Rica. The new destroyer then transited the Panama Canal on 6 May and steamed north to Washington, D.C., where on 17 May she embarked Rear Admiral Joseph K. Taussig, Assistant Chief of Naval Operations, along with a congressional party, for a cruise down the Potomac River to Mount Vernon.
Worden subsequently returned to the Washington Navy Yard where her guns were disassembled for alterations. She then shifted south on 21 May to the Norfolk Navy Yard. In the ensuing weeks, the ship underwent voyage repairs at Norfolk. The yard work was broken once by trials and tests off Rockland, Maine, and completed in the early summer. She ultimately left the Norfolk Navy Yard on 1 July and spent the weekend of the 4th at New Bedford, Mass., before setting her course for the west coast. After proceeding via Guantánamo Bay and the Panama Canal, she arrived back at the Puget Sound Navy Yard on 3 August.
After a post-shakedown refit at her builders’ yard, Worden shifted south to San Diego, reaching that port on 19 September, and commenced four years of operations from there as a unit of Destroyer Squadrons, Scouting Force. She performed valuable duty as a training ship for the Fleet Sound School, San Diego, and conducted the usual tactics and type training evolutions in local waters and in maneuvers that took her from Seward, Alaska, to Callao, Peru. She also participated in regularly scheduled fleet problems and battle tactics with combined forces of the United States Fleet in the Caribbean Sea and in the Hawaiian Islands. One of the highlights of her operations during that time came in the autumn of 1939. In mid September Worden, in company with Hull (DD-350) and escorting the aircraft carrier Ranger (CV-4) voyaged to Callao, Peru, for a visit that coincided with the InterAmerican Technical Aviation Conference at Lima. While Ranger proceeded independently homeward upon conclusion of her visit, the destroyers paused at Balboa, Canal Zone, before returning to San Diego. (continued)