Not only will the University of Nevada’s football players have an symbol to indicate their defensive prowess on the field, but they are also learning the history of one of the greatest battleships that sailed the seas during World War II.
Poseidon’s trident pictured with a tribute to the USS Nevada, BB-36, was recently revealed at the Naval Air Warfighting Development Center east of Fallon with the creator of the idea design, John Galloway, university President Brian Sandoval and Rear Admiral Max McCoy, NAWDC’s commander. Six players from this year’s Wolf Pack team — Tyson Williams, Devonte Lee, Toa Taua, Grant Stark, Dominic Peterson and Shane Illingworth — also traveled to Fallon to be part of the shot but meaningful ceremony.
Not only will the University of Nevada’s football players have an symbol to indicate their defensive prowess on the field, but they are also learning the history of one of the greatest battleships that sailed the seas during World War II. Poseidon’s trident pictured with a tribute to the USS Nevada, BB-36, was recently revealed at the Naval Air Warfighting Development Center east of Fallon with the creator of the idea design, John Galloway, university President Brian Sandoval and Rear Admiral Max McCoy, NAWDC’s commander. Six players from this year’s Wolf Pack team — Tyson Williams, Devonte Lee, Toa Taua, Grant Stark, Dominic Peterson and Shane Illingworth — also traveled to Fallon to be part of the shot but meaningful ceremony.
Not only will the University of Nevada’s football players have an symbol to indicate their defensive prowess on the field, but they are also learning the history of one of the greatest battleships that sailed the seas during World War II.

Poseidon’s trident pictured with a tribute to the USS Nevada, BB-36, was recently revealed at the Naval Air Warfighting Development Center east of Fallon with the creator of the idea design, John Galloway, university President Brian Sandoval and Rear Admiral Max McCoy, NAWDC’s commander. Six players from this year’s Wolf Pack team — Tyson Williams, Devonte Lee, Toa Taua, Grant Stark, Dominic Peterson and Shane Illingworth — also traveled to Fallon to be part of the shot but meaningful ceremony.

Galloway, director of the Battleship USS Nevada Remembrance Project, has nurtured a love of the battleship, one of the survivors of the surprise Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. In keeping with the history of both the battleship and World War II, Nevada’s football fans will see the trident on Saturday, the day after the Instrument of Surrender to end World War II in the Pacific was signed on the USS Missouri anchored in Tokyo Bay.

Knowing more about the USS Nevada’s missions during World War II and its meaning to the state’s heritage has been a passion of Galloway’s for many years. He has recognized those who served on the battleship as well as the ship’s place in naval history as part of his Battleship Nevada Remembrance Project. He also written about the project.

“I’ve done a lot with the USS Nevada,” Galloway said with the backdrop of the NAWDC building behind him.

Charles Sehe was the longest serving sailor on the USS Nevada from Jan. 18, 1941 to July 31, 1945.  Galloway sponsored the return of Sehe to Nevada in 2016 for the 100th anniversary of both the USS Nevada’s completion and commissioning.

In addition to designing the trident, Galloway has also sponsored a license plate, which was approved by the legislature, in honor of the battleship which saw action in both the Pacific and Europe during the D-Day. Proceeds from the sale of the license plate will benefit the Combat Wounded Coalition.

“It’s a great way to honor Nevada, the namesake school,” he added. “It’s a ship people know very little about.”

The USS Nevada earned seven battle stars during the war: Pearl Harbor in 1941; Attu in the Aleutian Islands, May 11-30, 1943; Utah Beach, Normandy on June 6, 1945; Cote d’Azur France, Operation Dragoon, Aug. 15, 1944; and two stars in capturing of Iwo Jima and Okinawa in 1945.

In his latest project with the trident, the symbolic prop will recognize the team’s take aways of recovering fumbles, intercepting passes and nailing its opponent in the end zone for a safety. Galloway then presented the idea to the university. 

“They loved it,” he grinned. “It’s a great way to honor the greatest ship in the Navy.

Galloway, a civilian pilot who moved to Nevada 20 years ago, had two tridents made in case one became damaged. For this Nevada history buff, though, he said the Silver State as a great history formed by people from all walks of life.

“Many people don’t appreciate what we have,” he said.

Yeoman second class Clayton Kent, who is stationed at NAS Fallon, accompanied the visitors on their short tour.

“We are respecting the heritage of the USS Nevada battleship, and respecting that with the heritage of the University of Nevada, Reno,” he said of the tour and presentation. “Every time the team gets a turnover, they will be using the trident as a representation.”

Kent said it’s a great idea that respects the state’s origin and the history of the community.

“It’s a neat idea to begin a new tradition,” he said, adding  new generations is learning a piece of the history associated with the state.

Sandoval, who attended elementary school in Fallon when his father was transferred to Nevada with the Federal Aviation Administration,  said he has great respect for Galloway for presenting the history of the USS Nevada because it’s story everyone should know. During his eight-year tenure as governor, Sandoval learned much about the military operations and history of the Navy with Nevada ties.

“It’s an incredible moment, and it’s really important to teach these young student athletes the history of Fallon and the USS Nevada and to bring it all together,” Sandoval said. “And to have this trident which will tell the team what its’ all about.”

First-year Nevada football coach Ken Wilson was in as much awe of the operations at Naval Air Station Fallon as his players were when they saw the F-16s and an F-18 with the name of Capt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, the main character of the two Top Gun movies, emblazoned underneath the jet’s canopy. That provided the perfect prop for unveiling the trident.

“Just looking at their faces … they’re so excited looking at the airplanes and seeing these gentlemen talk about leadership and sports. They are competitors,” Wilson said of the Navy pilots who spend countless hours refining their combat skills. 

Dominic Peterson, a standout defensive end for the Wolf Pack, said the experience has been meaningful for him.

“I’ve caught up with a little of the behind-the-scene action that goes on here. I’m honored what goes on here,” he said. “We came out here to learn something different.” 

Wilson, though, said many of the pilots may have played football at their respective universities and experienced the combat on the gridiron like Peterson.

“It all comes together,” added Wilson, who then revealed the two Top Gun movies including the latest release are his favorites.

Top Gun: Maverick debuted during the late spring with the second movie portraying the warfighting skills of aviators associated with the Navy’s Fighter Weapons School that fits under the umbrella of the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center. McCoy, who came has been in his command for a year, enjoyed the opportunity to showcase the Navy.

“Today has been an absolutely fantastic opportunity to build the relationship between NAS Fallon and NAWDC and the University of Nevada,” McCoy said. “I look forward to continuing this relationship and opportunities to work together.”