Brigadier General Chris McPhillips graduated from San Jose State University with a B.S. in Aeronautics and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps in June 1990. Upon completion of AV-8B Harrier training in November 1993, he reported to VMA-311 in Yuma, AZ. deploying to the Persian Gulf participating in OPERATION SOUTHERN WATCH and Okinawa Japan. In June 1997, Brigadier General McPhillips reported to 1st Marine Division to serve as the Assistant Division Air Officer and Division Forward Air Controller. In 1998, he was selected to attend the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course at Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics School. He later deployed to Okinawa Japan as a pilot and weapons and tactics instructor.
Beginning in July 2000, he served as a MAWTS-1 Instructor Pilot. During this tour, he deployed to the Persian Gulf with Marine Air Group 13 as a 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing planner and combat pilot during operations SOUTHERN WATCH and IRAQI FREEDOM. In 2003, he attended USAF Air Command and Staff College in Montgomery, Alabama graduating in June 2004 with a Masters Degree in Military Operational Science.Brigadier General McPhillips reported to Aviation Plans and Policy, Headquarters Marine Corps in July 2004. There he served as the Joint and External matters officer, leading the revision of DoD’s Joint Close Air Support Doctrine, as well as development of the Joint Terminal Attack Controller and Joint Fires Observer programs.
After assuming Command of VMA-214 in November 2006, he deployed with the Squadron to Iwakuni, Japan. During the year-long deployment, the squadron embarked aboard ship and deployed around the Western Pacific. In June 2008, he attended the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island where he earned a Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies. In June 2009, Brigadier General McPhillips reported to the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. to serve as the Offensive Cyber Operations Division Chief, Operations Directorate, Joint Chiefs of Staff until he was selected to serve as the Executive Assistant to the J3 Director for Operations, the Joint Staff. In April 2011, he reported to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Defense Business Board to serve as a Military Assistant researching Satellite Acquisitions and Fuel price hedging strategies for DOD.
In May 2013 he assumed command of Marine Aircraft Group Thirteen in Yuma AZ. The Air Group was comprised of AV-8B Harrier, F-35B Joint Strike Fighter, logistics and support squadrons that supported combat operations and deployments around the globe. In 2015 he served as a Military Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City.
He is qualified to fly the AV8B, F-5N, and F-35B. His personal awards include: the Navy Achievement Medal, Air Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Legion of Merit and Defense Superior Service Medal.