NEWS | May 15, 2023

Father of Naval Special Warfare Posthumously Awarded the Charles P. Gallagher Leadership Medallion

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Paolo Peredo

Capt. Phil Bucklew, known as the “father” of Naval Special Warfare (NSW) and a Xavier University alumnus, was posthumously awarded the Charles P. Gallagher Leadership Medallion by the university, May 12.

This award recognizes exceptional individuals who have made outstanding contributions in a vocation to society, to Xavier University, or to another area of endeavor well beyond expectations.

Capt. Keith Marinics, Naval Special Warfare Center’s chief staff officer, and Command Master Chief Deryck Dickerson of Naval Special Warfare Assessment Command received the award on behalf of Bucklew from Xavier University President Dr. Colleen Hanycz, Ph.D., during an awards dinner.

“Captain Bucklew is the epitome of all this award represents: leadership, humility, grit, determination and perseverance in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds,” said Hanycz. “His accomplishments, not only here at Xavier, but in the defense of our nation for more than 28 years, are remarkable and outstanding. We are proud and honored to consider him a lasting part of Xavier’s family and are pleased to commemorate him in this way with one of Xavier’s highest honors.”

“I am humbled to accept this award on behalf of him, his family, and all of our Naval Special Warfare forefathers,” said Marinics. “As an Ohio native myself, I am equally honored to accept this on behalf of Captain Bucklew, who was also born and raised in Ohio.”

The Charles P. Gallagher Leadership Medallion is given to recognize exceptional individuals for leadership accomplishments of the highest distinction in their field or professional career, including the fields of medicine, law, education, science, government and public service, or business. Honorees are also recognized for their contributions to the betterment of society and who exemplify the values and mission of Xavier University.

NSW is the nation’s elite maritime special operations force, uniquely positioned to extend the Fleet’s reach and gain and maintain access for the Joint Force in competition and conflict.