Captain Phil H. Bucklew

"The Father of U.S. Naval Special Warfare"

Captain Phil H. Bucklew ('36) is widely considered to be the "Father of U.S. Naval Special Warfare" and is a direct link between Xavier University and the creation of the elite U.S. Navy SEALs.

Born in Columbus, Ohio, Cpt. Bucklew attended XU and was a standout student-athlete from 1932-36 before going on to a lifetime of military service. The Naval Special Warfare Training Center in Coronado, Calif. bears his name. He passed away in 1992 and was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetary.

To honor Cpt. Bucklew's life and legacy, the Xavier Veteran and Military Family Center has set a goal to raise funds over the next several years to both rename the center in Bucklew's honor and also to allow the center to operate in perpetuity.

Enquirer Feature

Over a year of research and work went into this in-depth feature story about Bucklew's life. It was written by Xavier beat reporter Adam Baum and featured in the Cincinnati Enquirer as well as several other local, regional and national Gannett publications.

Enquirer Feature
Q&A with Reporter Adam Baum

More on Bucklew

Learn more about Bucklew's distinguished military career and life.

Wikipedia Bio
Short Video Bio
WCPO Feature
Washington Post Obituary from 1993 Feature


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, Xavier is honoring Cpt. Bucklew ('36) and has set a goal to raise funds over the next several years to support our veteran and veteran-affiliated students as well as renaming the center in Bucklew's honor.

Bucks For Buck