B.I.G Awards Honoree, Captain Jophiel Philips

Captain Jophiel Philips


Captain Jophiel Philips is the Chief of Military Justice at the Expeditionary Center at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey.  He is responsible for providing legal advice to the commander and subordinate commands of the Expeditionary Center’s advanced combat support, training, and education.  In 2014, as part of the Air Force Special Operations Command, he deployed and was embedded with the NATO Special Operations Component Command and the Special Operations Joint Task Force Command in Afghanistan.  For his courage under enemy attack, he received a Bronze Star and for his injuries during enemy attack, he received the Purple Heart.

Captain Philips received his BA in 2005 from Stony Brook University. In 2008 he received Masters from Wesleyan University, where he wrote his thesis on the Miseducation of New York City Youth Througout U.S. History.

In 2011, Captain Philips earned his Juris Doctorate from The University of San Francisco School of Law.  While in law school he received awards for achieving the top grades in Evidence Law and Advanced Constitution Law.  Upon graduation he was chosen to give the law school’s commencement speech and was the 2012 Pursuit of Justice award recipient.

Finally, in 2012, he entered the Air Force pursuant to a direct commission from President Barack Obama.

A native of Queens, New York, Captain Philips played football at Stony Brook University, where he was awarded the 2002 Ray Downey MVP.  He also competed as an amateur boxer.  Captain Philips is admitted to practice law before the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals, the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and is a member of the New York and New Jersey state bars. He is the son of Koch and Shyamala Philips, the brother of Stacey Varghese, and is married to the former Neethu Arikupurathu.

Captain Philips’ favorite quote and one that he lives by is from Malcolm X: “There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time.”

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