U.S. Navy heroes with Xavier ties recognized by Reds

September 22nd, 2022

The Cincinnati Reds were proud to honor members of the United States Navy with local ties as Hometown Heroes over the past two homestands.

On Sept. 12, altafiber’s Hometown Hero segment -- which takes place following the second inning of every home game -- saluted 1936 Xavier University graduate and Navy Captain Phil Bucklew. Known as the “Father of the Navy SEALS,” Captain Bucklew was the founding member of the Naval Special Warfare Group 1, U.S. Navy Scouts and Raiders and Underwater Demolitions teams. He was awarded two Navy Crosses for beach reconnaissance prior to D-Day in Normandy and Operation Husky in Sicily. In addition, he was presented a Silver Star and a Bronze Star, and served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

Captain Bucklew passed away in late 1992 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. In 2016, he was inducted into the Ohio Military Hall of Fame and the Center for Naval Special Warfare in Coronado, Calif., now named in his honor. The Xavier Veteran and Military Family Center will be renamed after him on June 6, 2024, on the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

Based on that connection, Xavier and Naval Special Warfare (NSW) recently established a relationship, coined the Bucklew Beltway, which is designed to enhance both organizations’ recruitment and retention goals. This week, members of that new Assessment Command were in town to participate in several outreach events across Greater Cincinnati, including on Xavier’s campus. Xavier is now positioned to be the pilot project with NSW, which they intend to replicate across the U.S.

“The general focus of NSW’s engagement has been on the importance of personal attributes such as the humility, trust, confidence, dedication, teamwork, resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity,” said Glenn Welling, senior advisor of XU’s Veteran and Military Family Center. “These are the attributes that both Xavier and NSW look to instill and cultivate in their students and Sailors.”

On Sept. 21, six members of the NSW Assessment Command serving the U.S. Navy were recognized as the game’s Hometown Heroes. Part of their mission is to enhance the public awareness of NSW, and the group had a booth setup in the First Star Fan Zone at Great American Ball Park to provide information to fans before the game.