First African American Public Affairs Officer

Lieutenant Colonel William B. Phillips, II:

LTC Phillips was born in Fairbanks, Alaska. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Liberal Arts from Excelsior College and a Master’s Degree in Strategic Leadership from the University of Charleston West Virginia in 2019. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1991 as a Physical Therapy Specialist in Atlanta, Georgia. He later joined the Georgia National Guard in 1999.

As a member of the Georgia National Guard, LTC Phillips held several enlisted military occupational specialties including intelligence analyst, medical records specialist, and combat medic before achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant. LTC Phillips was commissioned in 2003 through the Accelerated Officer Candidate Program at the Georgia Military Institute where he was selected as the Distinguished Honor Graduate. He attended his basic branch qualification at Fort Benning, Georgia where he graduated from Infantry Officer Basic Course on the commandant’s list in 2004. LTC Phillips service in the Georgia National Guard includes a tour as a mechanized infantry company platoon leader, executive officer, and commander in Baghdad, Iraq.

In 2006, LTC Phillips joined the 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Arkansas Army National Guard and served as rear detachment assistant brigade S3. Additionally, he commanded two troops in 1st Squadron, 151st Cavalry Regiment, held the Squadron-level staff positions of S3 and Executive Officer, and served as the first African American Operations Officer (S3) for the 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. In 2017, LTC Phillips was assigned as the State Public Affairs Officer for the Arkansas Army National Guard. He was the first African American to serve in that capacity.

In 2019, LTC Phillips was assigned as the Legislative Liaison Officer for the Arkansas National Guard. LTC Phillips has been serving as Commander, 1st Battalion, 153rd Infantry Regiment, 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team since September 2021, and as the State Public Affairs Officer.

LTC Phillips awards and badges include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Noncommissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon, Combat Infantry Badge, Parachutist Badge, Laotian Combat and Special Skill Parachutist Badge, Order of Saint Maurice, Centurion and Order of Saint George, Bronze Award.

LTC Phillips is a lifetime member of the Infantry Officer’s Association, the Military Officers Association of America, and the Enlisted Association of the Arkansas National Guard. He serves as a Friends of Reading board member for AR Kids Read, is a member of the 100 Black Men of Greater Little Rock, a graduate of Leadership of Greater Little Rock Class XXXV and Leadership Arkansas Class XVII and serves as a member of St. John’s #329 Masonic Lodge.