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11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

 

11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

'Pride of the Pacific'

Camp Pendleton, CA
Col. R. L. Phillips
Major General Richard L. Phillips - Retired
 
At the time of his retirement, Major General Richard L. Phillips was the Inspector General of the Marine Corps and Deputy Naval Inspector General for Marine Corps Matters, Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C.

General Phillips, a native of California, received a degree in Engineering from California Polytechnic College and was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1961. He was designated a Naval Aviator in January 1963 and is the "Silver Hawk" aviator of the Marine Corps (the longest designated aviator on active duty).

General Phillips has commanded three Marine squadrons, and served for two years as Commanding Officer of Marine Aircraft Group 39 at Camp Pendleton, Calif., which included seven squadrons of both fixed-wing aircraft and attack helicopters.

During his MAG-39 command, he also served as Commanding Officer of both the 11th and 17th Marine Amphibious Units. The MAUs operated with PHIBRON THREE and PHIBRON ONE out of San Diego, Calif.

Following that assignment, he joined the Naval Space Command as Deputy Commander in May 1985. He also was Acting Commander for many months after the space shuttle accident.

General Phillips served in Vietnam during 1966, '67, '70, and '71 both as a squadron pilot and as a ground company commander.

He has served in squadrons in the 1st, 2d and 3d Marine Aircraft Wings in operations, maintenance, logistics and administration, and twice as Executive Officer. On the ground side, he served as AC/S, G-4 (Logistics) of the 3d Marine Amphibious Brigade in Korea and as AC/S, G-3 (Operations) and AC/S, G-4 (Logistics) of the 3d Marine Division.

General Phillips obtained his master's degree in Computer Science from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., in 1973. Service schools he has attended include the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Carlisle, Pa.; the U.S. Air Force Officers' Computer School at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas; and the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Course, Yuma, Ariz.

Other tours of duty have included an assignment with the Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity from June 1973 to June 1976 as the Project Team Leader of the project that integrated the Marine Corps Tactical Air Control and Defense System with the systems of the Army, Navy and Air Force by digital data links. He also assisted with astronaut training in 1964 while a flight and aerodynamics instructor at the Naval Air Training Command, Pensacola, Fla.

General Phillips served from Sept. 14, 1987 until July 21, 1989, as the Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff, Command, Control, Communications and Computer, Intelligence and Interoperability (C4I2)/Director, Command, Control, Communications and Computer Division, Headquarters Marine Corps.

General Phillips assumed command of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade on Aug. 2, 1989 and he also became Deputy Commander, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific/Deputy Commander, Marine Corps Bases, Pacific on Sept. 27, 1990. He was also Joint Task Force Commander (for contingencies) for CINCPAC from September 1990 to July 1991. During spring of 1990, he was the U.S. Joint Task Force Commander for the Cobra Gold exercise in Thailand, which included 8,000 U.S. troops (from all services) and 16,000 U.S. and Thai troops.

He was advanced to major general on May 31, 1991, and assigned duty as Deputy for Expeditionary Forces Programs, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, Washington, D.C., on Aug. 30, 1991 until Aug. 3, 1993.

General Phillips' personal decorations include: the Legion of Merit; Meritorious Service Medal; 26 awards of the Air Medal with both single mission and strike awards; the Joint Service Commendation Medal; the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V"; Navy Achievement Medal with Combat "V"; Combat Action Ribbon; Presidential Unit Citation with two stars; Navy Unit Commendation; Meritorious Unit Commendation with two stars; and appropriate expeditionary and campaign medals.