Phillip entered the Royal Military College, Duntroon on scholarship in 1977, completing a Science degree. He graduated in 1981 into the Royal Australian Armoured Corps.
Phillip served as a troop leader in both the 2nd Cavalry Regiment and 1st Armoured Regiment before being promoted to Captain. He was a Tank Squadron Second-in-Command, Regimental Technical Adjutant and Regimental Liaison Officer at 1st Armoured Regiment before transferring to the Army Reserve in 1987 whereupon he remained at the Regiment as a Squadron Second-in-Command.
On promotion to Major in 1990, Phillip served as an Officer Commanding in 4th/19th Prince of Wales’s Light Horse. This was followed by time at 3rd Reserve Command and Staff College both as a student on the Intermediate Staff Course, for which he was awarded a Blamey Award, and as a tactics instructor on Junior and Intermediate Staff Courses. He then was posted to Headquarters 4th Brigade. On relocating to Sydney for work in early 1996 he was posted to Headquarters 5th Brigade.
On promotion to Lieutenant-Colonel in 1998, Phillip had the honour of Commanding 1st/15th Royal New South Wales Lancers, a Reserve reconnaissance regiment, for three years. After two years at Land Headquarters as the Projects Staff Officer in Training Branch, he moved to Army Personnel Agency - Sydney (APA-S) as Staff Officer Grade One Officer Career Management.
In 2004, Phillip was promoted to Colonel and served as Colonel Projects Land Headquarters before taking up the posting of Director APA-S in 2005. In 2006 he participated in the Senior Officer Development Program travelling to England and Israel to study complex military operations.
In 2007 Phillip was promoted to Brigadier and posted to Headquarters Training Command – Army as Brigadier Projects. There followed the personally most rewarding posting of his career to date, being command of the 8th Brigade for three years from 2009 to 2011. The Brigade consists of seven Army Reserve units and operates in the northern half of NSW from Northern and North – Western Sydney to the NSW – Queensland Border. Whilst there where many highlights, he is most proud of the operational focus of the Brigade which culminated in the operational generation of Timor Leste Task Group 3.
For his service as Commander 8th Brigade, Phillip was made a Member of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day 2012 Honours List.