Lieutenant Colonel Bucklew graduated from Baldwin-Wallace University in Cleveland, OH in May of 2001 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. Upon graduation, he attended Officer Candidate School in Quantico, VA where he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in August 2001.
After completion of The Basic School (TBS) in March 2002, 2ndLt Bucklew underwent Naval Aviator training at NAS Pensacola and NAS Kingsville. He was subsequently designated a Naval Aviator in January 2003. 1stLt Bucklew reported to Fixed Wing Marine Attack Training Squadron 203, MCAS Cherry Point, NC for training in the AV-8B. Upon completion of Harrier flight training in June 2005, 1stLt Bucklew was assigned to Fixed Wing Marine Attack Squadron 513 “Nightmares” aboard MCAS Yuma, AZ. With the “Nightmares” he served as the Classified Materials Control Center Officer, Coffee Mess Officer, Daily / Weekly Schedules Writer, and S-4 Officer. Captain Bucklew deployed twice with the “Nightmares” between 2006 and 2007 where he flew combat missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
In June 2008, Captain Bucklew attended Expeditionary Warfare School aboard MCB Quantico, VA. He graduated in May 2009, later joining Fixed Wing Attack Squadron 231 “Ace of Spades” aboard MCAS Cherry Point, NC. Captain Bucklew then deployed with the “Spades” in October 2009 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Following deployment, Captain Bucklew attended and graduated from the MAWTS-1 Weapons & Tactics Instructor Course 2-11. While with VMA-231, Captain Bucklew served as the Quality Assurance Officer, Pilot Training Officer, Director of Safety and Standardization, and Operations Officer.
In September 2011, Captain Bucklew served as the first Weapons & Tactics Instructor Officer in Charge of the Marine Aviation Training Systems Site (MATSS), Cherry Point, NC. In June 2013, Major Bucklew reported to MAWTS-1 aboard MCAS Yuma, AZ as an AV-8B Instructor Pilot. While with MAWTS-1, Major Bucklew served as an AV-8B Instructor Pilot, AV-8B Operations Representative, OAS-6 Evolution Coordinator, the Academics Department Head, and the TACAIR Department Head.
In July 2016, Major Bucklew reported to the Naval War College, RI where he graduated with a Masters in Strategic Studies. In July 2017, Major Bucklew reported to Fixed Wing Attack Squadron 214 “Black Sheep” aboard MCAS Yuma, AZ. With the “Black Sheep” he served as the Operations Officer, Aviation Maintenance Officer, Security Manager, and Executive Officer. Major Bucklew was promoted to LtCol in August 2018.
Lieutenant Colonel Bucklew has amassed over 2,200 mishap-free flight hours. His current active qualifications include Mission Commander, Night Systems Instructor, Forward Air Controller Airborne Instructor, Weapons & Tactics Officer, and Weapons & Tactics Instructor. His personal awards include the Air Medal-Strike/Flight (Numeral 10), Meritorious Service Medal (with Gold Star), the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal.