A native of Flossmoor, Illinois, Vice Adm. Philip H. Cullom graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy with a bachelor's degree in physics. He also holds a master's degree in business administration with distinction from Harvard Business School.
His career has been marked by service in every combatant command theater of operations; participation in nine named operations supporting U.S. military efforts in the Middle East, Mediterranean, Adriatic, Caribbean and Western Pacific; and six Carrier/Expeditionary Strike Group deployments.
Afloat, he commanded the Eisenhower and George Washington Strike Groups, Amphibious Squadron 3, USS Mitscher (DDG 57) and served as chief of staff to Commander, 2nd Fleet/Striking Fleet Atlantic. Other tours included USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), USS Jesse L. Brown (FF 1089) and USS Truxtun (CGN 35).
Ashore, flag assignments included Fleet Readiness and Logistics (N4) deputy chief of naval operations; Energy and Environmental Readiness Division (N45) director; Fleet Readiness Division (N43) director; Strategy & Policy Division (N5SP) director; and Deep Blue director. He served at the White House twice as special assistant to the director, Office of Management & Budget and as director of Defense Policy/Arms Control on the National Security Council. Other Shore tours included: head of Nuclear Officer Programs and Placement (PERS 424/41N); Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Staff’s Strategy and Policy Branch (N513); Joint Staff’s Program Budget & Analysis Division (J-8); CNO’s Executive Panel (OP-00K); the White House Fellowship Program; and staff positions at Idaho National Engineering Laboratory.
His 20 personal awards include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Department of State Superior Honor Award, l'Ordre National du Mérite (Officier) – Republic of France and the Ellis Island Award. Crews with whom Cullom served were awarded 10 unit commendations including the Battle E award for operational excellence. He considers those awards earned throughout his career associated with unit performance to be most representative of naval service and of greatest impact.