Colonel Phillips was commissioned on 15 May 1998 through the Naval ROTC program at Villanova University. Following the Basic School, he attended Infantry Officer Course in Quantico, VA. In April 1999, 2dLt Phillips was assigned as Platoon Commander, Weapons Platoon, Kilo Company, 3d Battalion, 1st Marines aboard Camp Pendleton, CA where he deployed with the 13th MEU (Special Operations Capable) in August 2000 during which time he participated in Humanitarian Relief Operations in East Timor and security missions during Operation DETERMINED RESPONSE, the recovery and security of the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen. 1stLt Phillips then served as the Assistant Operations Officer and Operations Liaison Officer for 3/1.
1stLt Phillips was selected for the Funded Law Education Program (FLEP) and entered Rutgers School of Law in August of 2002. Upon completion of Law School and Naval Justice School in Newport, Rhode Island in 2005, Captain Phillips was assigned as Defense Counsel, LSSS, 2d MLG aboard MCB Camp Lejeune, NC. In December 2006, Captain Phillips deployed to Iraq, first as the Deputy Judge Advocate for Regimental Combat Team – 2, and then as a Battalion Judge Advocate with BLT 2/4 and Task Force Tarawa. In July 2007, Captain Phillips assumed duties as the Operational Law Chief, II MEF(Fwd), Multi-National Force – West.
Upon returning from OIF in February 2008, Captain Phillips served as a prosecutor, LSSS, 2d MLG. Promoted to Major in July 2008, he was subsequently assigned as the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate for Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune in August 2008, where he was then deployed to Afghanistan in November 2009 as the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate for the 2d Marine Expeditionary Brigade.
Returning from Afghanistan, Major Phillips was assigned as a Student at the Marine Corps University Command and Staff College. Upon Completion of Command and Staff College, Major Phillips served as an Assistant Professor in the Leadership, Ethics and Law Department at the United States Naval Academy from July 2011 to June 2014.
Selected for Lieutenant Colonel, he was then assigned as the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate for II Marine Expeditionary Force, in Camp Lejeune, NC and soon thereafter as the Staff Judge Advocate for 2d Marine Division. In June 2016, he was assigned to Headquarters and Support Battalion, School of Infantry – East, where he served as the commanding officer until June 2018. Selected as a Commandant of the Marine Corps Fellow, he then was assigned to the Counter Terrorism Section, National Security Division in the Department of Justice where he was a trial attorney prosecuting national security cases in Federal Court from July 2018 to June 2019.
Colonel Phillips was selected as a Military Judge and served as a Trial Judge in the Eastern Judicial Circuit, Navy-Marine Corps Trial Judiciary from July 2019 to June 2021.
Colonel Phillips graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Villanova University, earning his J.D. from Rutgers School of Law. Colonel Phillips is a distinguished graduate of Marine Corps Command and Staff College earning a Masters in Military Studies.
Colonel Phillips’ awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (Gold Star in Lieu of 3rd Award), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (Gold Star in lieu of 4th Award), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal and numerous campaign and service awards.