Major 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. In June 1997, McPhillips reported to 1st Marine Division to serve as the Assistant Division Air Officer and Division Forward Air Controller.
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 pilot during operations SOUTHERN WATCH and IRAQI FREEDOM. In 2003, he attended USAF Air Command and Staff College graduating in June 2004 with a Master’s Degree in Military Operational Science. McPhillips reported to Aviation Plans and Policy, Headquarters Marine Corps in July 2004.
After assuming Command of VMA-214 Black Sheep Squadron in November 2006, Major General McPhillips deployed with the Squadron to Iwakuni, Japan. 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, Major General McPhillips reported to the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. to serve as the Cyber Operations Division Chief, Operations Directorate, J-39 Joint Chiefs of Staff, until 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.
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, Unmanned Aerial Systems, and 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.
In August 2016, Major General McPhillips reported to 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Okinawa Japan and served as the Assistant Wing Commander. In 2017 he reported to III Marine Expeditionary Force on Okinawa and assumed the duties as Deputy Commanding General III MEF and Commanding General of 3 Marine Expeditionary Brigade. In June 2019, McPhillips assumed the duties of Commanding General, 1 Marine Aircraft Wing Okinawa, Japan.
Major General McPhillips is currently serving as the Director for Strategic Planning and Policy, J5, United States Indo-Pacific Command, Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii.
Major General McPhillips 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.
(As of June 2022)