Phillip Howard served in the United States Marine Corps as a radio operator with 2nd Battalion 7th Marines Regiment 1st Marine Division stationed in Twentynine Palms, California.

He was a member of the All-Marine Basketball Team. Years after separating from the Marine Corps, Phillip re-joined the military as a member of the United States Air Force Reserves. Phillip now works with the Conservation Fund as a project manager for the Civil Rights People and Places Initiative, where he seeks to interpret, restore, and preserve distressed civil rights sites across Alabama. Phillip actively volunteers in his community in many ways. Phillip is a charter member of the NPCA Veterans Council.