The Navy SEAL Monument on the oceanfront in Virginia Beach, Virginia was recently featured by TME Magazine in the January/February 2018 issue.
In 2016, the concept for a monument honoring the Navy’s warrior elite began to take shape. Retired Navy SEAL Captain and Virginia Beach resident, Rick Woolard thought it was long time to create a monument unlike any other, along the Virginia Beach oceanfront. With Woolard spearheading the effort on behalf of the National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum in Ft. Pierce, Florida, the project gained strong support from the Mayor of Virginia Beach, the Virginia Beach Fine Arts Commission, the Navy SEAL Foundation, the UDT-SEAL Association, and the SEAL active duty and retired communities. But many pieces needed to come together to make the monument a reality.
The Clark Nexsen design team was inspired to create a unique monument that honors the U.S. Navy SEALs, their forerunners, and the critical role Virginia Beach played in their remarkable history. This project would be the first public monument honoring all SEAL Teams and their forerunners, so the importance of properly telling their story and evolution through design was tantamount.
Central to the Monument’s design stands the iconic Naked Warrior statue. The Naked Warrior depicts an early “Frogman” atop a beach obstacle, facing the ocean and gathering himself to conduct a combat mission. The statue is the fourth and final bronze cast to be made. Three other statues reside at their respective SEAL heritage sites: Ft. Pierce, Florida, Coronado, California, and Waimanalo Beach, Hawaii. The bronze statue is purposefully life-sized, rather than larger than life, like some other statues along the boardwalk. It is a subtle tribute to the SEAL mindset that they are ordinary men who do extraordinary things.
Aligned with this ethos, the statue is surrounded by a sleek, low-profile stone “history wall” that curves along the natural contours of the site. From one end of the monument to the other, the history wall begins with the Scouts and Raiders and leads visitors around to the modern-day warrior elite. Distinguished from the other SEAL heritage sites, the Virginia Beach monument is an extensive monument design, that utilizes the full site, portraying a comprehensive history with the Naked Warrior statue as its culmination.
Photos: Ty Cole Studio