Veteran and Military Family Center

Captain Phil H. Bucklew - A Lifetime of Service



The mission of the Xavier University Veteran and Military Family Center is to provide personalized world-class support to enhance the educational experience of Veterans and military-affiliated students that results in unconditional success in the classroom and beyond.  In direct support of that mission, we are honoring retired Navy Captain, Phil Bucklew, a 1936 graduate of Xavier University (see below for a brief synopsis of CAPT Bucklew’s lifetime accomplishments).  We have a goal to raise $5 million dollars over the next three years that will allow the Xavier Veteran and Military Family Center to operate in perpetuity.  To donate, please click the link below.  Thank you!

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Captain Phil H. Bucklew (U.S. Navy, Retired)
A Lifetime of Service

  • Football and Basketball star at Xavier, 1932-1936
  • Student Council President as a Junior and member of the Glee Club
  • XU Athletic Director and Head Football Coach ‘46
  • Professional Football Player for Cleveland Rams ’37-’38; and founded and coached the Columbus Bullies ’39-’41 (AFL Champions ’40 and ’41).
  • Navy Reserve ’30-’36, ’46-‘48
  • Active Navy ’42-’46, ’48-‘69
  • Founding member of the Naval Special Warfare Group 1 (Navy SEALs); US Navy Scouts and Raiders and Underwater Demolitions Teams.  He is commonly referred to as the “Father of Naval Special Warfare” (Navy SEALs)
  • Awarded two Navy Crosses for beach reconnaissance prior to D-Day (Operation Overlord) in Normandy France and Operation Husky, in Sicily.  Also awarded a Silver Star and Bronze Star. Conducted covert Omaha Beach reconnaissance in February 1944.
  • Served in WWII, Korea and Viet Nam.
  • The Center for Naval Special Warfare in Coronado, California is named in his honor.
  • He is a 2016 inductee into the Ohio Military Hall of Fame.
  • Died and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in 1992