Entering the submarine force, he spent 18 years at sea, serving in six submarines. He commanded the ballistic missile submarine USS Theodore Roosevelt and the attack submarine USS Tautog. His sea-going career includes nine major deployments and five Polaris missile deterrent patrols.
Phil commanded the U.S. Naval Submarine Base at San Diego. While helming one of the Navy's high-profile installations he soon found himself immersed in Hollywood. He helped director John McTiernan create a realistic set and training for the blockbuster movie "The Hunt for Red October" staring Sean Connery, Alex Baldwin, and Scott Glenn. He also served on the staff of the Naval Reactors Facility in Idaho, as the fleet nuclear power representative at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, and as Professor of Naval Science and Commanding Officer of the NROTC Unit at the University of Michigan. He retired from the Navy in 1991.
Since retiring from the Navy, Phil has been employed as a Principal Consultant for Advent, a Tetra Tech company. Advent provides a variety of services to the nuclear power industry. His areas of expertise include fire protection and post-fire safe shutdown, design basis reconstitution, environmental qualification of nuclear plant equipment, and thermal-hydraulic analysis. He is a member of the American Nuclear Society and a past president of the Michigan Section of ANS.