2019 Phelps Award Recipient Paul W. “Buddy” Bucha
Former Army Captain Paul W. “Buddy” Bucha
Paul W. “Buddy” Bucha is a Vietnam veteran and recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest award that can be given to military personnel.
He received his BS in 1965, graduating academically in the top 2 percent of his West Point Class, number two in Military Order of Merit and a two-time All American and Captain of the Swim Team. Immediately upon graduation from West Point, he attended the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, receiving his MBA in 1967 and completing his Airborne and Ranger training between academic years. Bucha is a Jumpmaster.
After Stanford, he reported for duty with the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky. to prepare for deployment to Vietnam as part of Operation Eagle Thrust. On March 16, 1968, Captain Bucha was the commanding officer of a reconnaissance-in-force mission that was inserted by helicopter near Phuoc Vinh, Binh Duong Province to locate and destroy an enemy stronghold. When his men were pinned down by heavy machine-gun fire, he crawled 40 meters through a hail of enemy fire to single-handedly destroy the bunker with grenades. For his actions, Captain Bucha received, among other decorations, the Bronze Star with V and Oak Leaf Cluster, the Purple Heart and the Medal of Honor. Upon his return to the U.S., he reported for assignment as Assistant Professor of Managerial Economics at West Point.
After resigning his Army commission in 1972, Bucha joined du Pont Glore, Forgan as a special assistant to H. Ross Perot. He later moved to the Perot-owned Electronic Data Systems Corporation (EDS) as Senior Vice President of International Operations, expanding EDS operations throughout the Middle East and Europe. In 1978, Bucha formed his own international consulting company, Paul W. Bucha and Company, Inc. (PWBCO), and expanded to real estate development, building among other projects, the environmentally acclaimed developments Port Liberte on New York Harbor and The Meads in the Back Bay of Boston.
Bucha actively is involved in national security and veterans’ issues. He is a frequent lecturer to military and business leaders of all aspects on honor and leadership. He has been a member of the Board and an officer of The Fisher House Foundation and Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund which support military families and wounded warriors. He is active in a variety of veteran organizations including the U.S. Army Ranger Association and the US Army Ranger Hall of Fame, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Vietnam Veterans of America and the Congressional Medal of Honor Society and Foundation. Bucha is a Distinguished Graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Paul Bucha four children and 9 grandchildren, and lives in Ridgefield, CT, with his wife, Cynthia.