Meet Phil

Phil Ehr is a retired U.S. Navy officer who rose from Deck Seaman to Commander in 26 years of active duty service. He flew classified reconnaissance in the Cold War and combat support in Desert Storm.

After retiring from active duty, Phil taught British military officers and inner-city children. Recently, Phil fought financial corruption in an international sports federation linked to the Kremlin and the oil trade between the Syrian regime and ISIS.

Phil is a 33-year Escambia County voter now fighting for Northwest Florida.

Phil and Sue, his wife of 22 years, are proud of their loving daughters, Jen and Claire.


Before the Navy

  • Early morning newspaper delivery for three years in high school
  • Fast food porter, hardware / lumber warehouseman, sheet metal bender, computer room operator for a regional retailer, data management consultant for a university admissions office, soccer referee
  • Summer staff for Maryland Leadership Workshops
  • Student council president in junior high, high school and his county’s association of 22 public high schools
  • Co-captain and Most Valuable Player of his high school’s state champion soccer team

In the Navy

  • Deck Seaman
  • Chief’s Mess steward
  • Armed guard in a nuclear weapons capable cruiser
  • Fire Control Technician (Guns) Second Class, Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist
  • Honor Class 22-84, Aviation Officer Candidate School, NAS Pensacola
  • Fleet Replacement Bombardier / Navigator in the A-6 Intruder
  • Mission Commander, Senior Electronic Warfare Evaluator in the EP-3 reconnaissance aircraft
  • Strategy Division Intern, The Joint Staff
  • Naval War College Intern, Office of the Secretary of Defense
  • Graduate, Naval War College, Command and Naval Staff College
  • Reconnaissance Operations Officer for a U.S. SIXTH Fleet Task Force
  • Officer-in-Charge of EP-3 squadron detachments in Southeast Asia, the Mediterranean and Baltic regions
  • Assistant Air Operations Officer, Joint Task Force NOBLE ANVIL
  • National Security Affairs Fellow, Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, Stanford University
  • Strategy Branch Head, U.S. Naval Forces Europe
  • Deputy Director, NATO’s Joint Electronic Warfare Core Staff
  • Commander, U.S. Navy (Retired)


Naval Operations and Staff Work

  • Search and rescue in the Florida Strait, Pacific Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea
  • Classified reconnaissance in the Cold War in the Pacific, the Mediterranean and Balkans
  • Battlefield preparation in DESERT SHIELD
  • Combat support in DESERT STORM
  • Combat command and control in ALLIED FORCE
  • Assisted the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff with his Congressional testimony on, and development of, the National Military Strategy and other matters
  • Introduced non-DoD Federal agencies to operational information directly from National Reconnaissance Office assets
  • Drove the strategy to overhaul the pilot training program for a small Naval aviation community
  • Contributed to Keeping the Edge; Managing Defense for the Future (MIT Press, 2001), sponsored by the Preventive Defense Project, Stanford and Harvard Universities, with a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, former cabinet and federal agency heads from both major political parties and a future secretary of defense
  • Developed the post-9/11 strategy for U.S. Naval Forces in Europe, Africa and the Former Soviet Union, which included force employment, base realignment and security cooperation
  • Implemented the consolidation of three NATO multinational commands
  • Converted a NATO signals intelligence / electronic warfare training command into a command that also deployed personnel to NATO operations in the Balkans and Afghanistan

Beyond the Navy

  • Taught British military officers at the United Kingdom’s Defense Academy as a King’s College London teaching fellow
  • Co-founded a school chess club and helped coach school teams who won nine English national championships in 12 years
  • Taught chess for pre-K to 5th grade children in low-income public schools, a wealthy private school and an academy for 6th to 12th grade children excluded from mainstream education
  • Coordinated corporate bank volunteers in low-income public schools for an education charity
  • Volunteered as production manager and group parent of a well-funded children’s opera
  • Elected chief executive and director of junior chess and education for the English Chess Federation
  • Fought corruption in the World Chess Federation, whose Russian leader was later sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department for materially supporting the Government of Syria and association with the Assad regime’s oil trade with the terrorist group, ISIS


  • Studied Mechanical Engineering at Tulane University and War Studies Research at King’s College London
  • Degrees in Political Science from the University of the State of New York and International Relations from Troy State University, Pensacola Campus

Community and Professional Associations

  • Panhandle Tiger Bay Club
  • American Legion Post 193
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars
  • Veterans Memorial Park Pensacola Foundation
  • Naval Aviation Museum Foundation
  • Association of Naval Aviation
  • Tailhook Association former member
  • Association of Old Crows
  • Military Officers Association of America
  • U.S. Naval War College Foundation
  • U.S. Naval Institute
  • International Institute of Strategic Studies


  • Christian, husband, father
  • Compassion International
  • Enthusiastic sustainable energy consumer
  • Gun owner
  • Occasional berry and fruit gardener, chess, tennis and soccer player
  • Former private pilot and scuba diver


Phil on LinkedIn