McPhillips, Thomas, Jr., ET3

Electronics Technician
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Current Service Status
USN Veteran
Current/Last Rank
Petty Officer Third Class
Current/Last Primary NEC
ET-14HB-SSN 637 Class ESM Technician
Current/Last Rating/NEC Group
Electronics Technician
Primary Unit
1985-1987, ET-14HB, USS Sea Devil (SSN-664)
Previously Held NEC
00E-Unknown NEC/Rate
ET-0000-Electronics Technician
SA-0000-Seaman Apprentice
Service Years
1979 - 1987
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Order of the Arctic Circle (Bluenose)
Order of the Golden Dragon
Plank Owner
ET-Electronics Technician
Two Hash Marks

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Shellback US Navy Honorable Discharge Order of the Arctic Circle (Bluenose) Cold War Medal

Order of the Golden Dragon Cold War Veteran Cold War Veteran

 Military Association Memberships
National Rifle Association (NRA)Post 68Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW)United States Submarine Veterans, Inc. (USSVI)
  1991, National Rifle Association (NRA)
  2010, American Legion, Post 68 (Recorder) (Hutchinson, Kansas) [Verified]1 - Chap. Page
  2010, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) [Verified]1 - Assoc. Page
  2010, United States Submarine Veterans, Inc. (USSVI) [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2010, United States Submarine Veterans, Inc. (USSVI), Dorado Base (Member) (Andover, Kansas) [Verified] - Chap. Page

 Additional Information

What are you doing now:
Self employed consultant for Oracle/Sun Solaris (UNIX) Enterprise computer and SAN storage systems.  Involved in all phases of systems architecture design and implementation.



Shortly after the loss of USS THRESHER, Dr. Brothers wrote the following:


The tragic loss of the submarine Thresher and 129 men had a special kind of impact on the nation…..a special kind of sadness, mixed with universal admiration for the men who chose this kind of work.

One could not mention the Thresher without observing, in the same breath how utterly final and alone the end is when a ship dies at the bottom of the sea…..and what a remarkable specimen of man it must be who accepts such a risk.

Most of us might be moved to conclude, too, that a tragedy of this kind would have a damaging effect on the moral of the other men in the submarine service and tend to discourage future enlistments. Actually, there is no evidence that this is so.

What is it, then, that lures men to careers in which they spend so much of their time in cramped quarters, under great psychological stress, with danger lurking all about them?

Bond Among Them
Togetherness is an overworked term, but in no other branch of our military service is it given such full meaning as in the so-called “silent service.”

In an under sea craft, each man is totally dependant upon the skill of every other man in the crew, not only for top performance but for actual survival. Each knows that his very life depends on the others and because this is so, there is a bond among them that both challenges and comforts them.

All of this gives the submariner a special feeling of pride, because he is indeed a member of an elite corps. The risks, then, are an inspiration, rather than a deterrent.

The challenge of masculinity is another factor, which attracts men to serve on submarines. It certainly is a test of man’s prowess and power to know he can qualify for this highly selective service. However, it should be emphasized that this desire to prove masculinity is not pathological, as it might be in certain daredevil pursuits, such as driving a motorcycle through a flaming hoop.

Emotionally Healthy
There is nothing daredevelish about the motivations of the man who decides to dedicate his life to the submarine service. He does, indeed, take pride in demonstrating that he is quite a man, but he does not do so to practice a form of foolhardy brinkmanship, to see how close he can get to failure and still snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. On the contrary, the aim in the submarine service is to battle the danger, to minimize the risk, to take every measure to make certain that safety rather than danger, is maintained at all times.

Are the men in submarines braver than those in other pursuits where the possibility of sudden tragedy is not constant? The glib answer would be that they are. It is much more accurate, from a psychological point of view, to say they are not necessarily braver, but that they are who have a little more insight into themselves and their capabilities.

They know themselves a little better than the next man. This has to be so with men who have a healthy reason to volunteer for a risk. They are generally a cut healthier emotionally than others of similar age and background because of their willingness to push themselves a little bit farther and not settle for an easier kind of existence.

We all have tremendous capabilities but are rarely straining at the upper level of what we can do; these men are.

The country can be proud and grateful that so many of its sound, young, eager men care enough about their own status in life--and the welfare of their country--to pool their skills and match them collectively against the power of the sea.

-Dr. Joyce Brothers


Other Comments:

"He which hath no stomach to this fight let him depart. But we in it shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers!! For he today, that sheds his blood with me, shall always be my brother."


From my British Royal Navy Submariner shipmates:

IN Waters Deep
By Eileen Mahoney

In ocean wastes no poppies blow,... No crosses stand in ordered row, Their young hearts sleep... beneath the wave...

The spirited, the good, the brave, But stars a constant vigil keep, For them who lie beneath the deep.

'Tis true you cannot kneel in prayer On certain spot and think. "He's there." But you can to the ocean go... See whitecaps marching row on row; Know one for him will always ride... In and out... with every tide.

And when your span of life is passed, He'll meet you at the "Captain's Mast." And they who mourn on distant shore For sailors who'll come home no more, Can dry their tears and pray for these Who rest beneath the heaving seas...

For stars that shine and winds that blow And whitecaps marching row on row. And they can never lonely be For when they lived... they chose the sea

What is a Submariner

A Submariner is not born; he is made out of leftovers! God built the world and the animals and then recycled the gash to create this dastardly weapon.

He took the leftover roar of the lion, the howl of the hyena, the clumsiness of the ox, the stubbornness of the mule, the slyness of the fox, the wildness of the bull and the pride of a peacock - then added the filthy evil mind of the devil to satisfy his weird sense of humour.

A Submariner evolved into a crude combination of John Dillinger, Errol Flynn, Beau Brummel and Valentino - a swashbuckling - beer-swilling - lovemaking - LIAR!

A Submariner likes girls, rum, beer, fights, uckers, runs ashore, pubs, jokes, long leave, his mates and his ticket.

He hates officers, rounds, divisions, saluting middies, naval police, painting the side, jaunties, navy scran, his turn in the barrel and signing on!

A Submariner comes in four colours; white, off white, dirty and filthy - all looking alike under a tan and a uniform.

He is brave drinking beer, abusive playing crib, brutal defending his pride and passionate making love.

He can start a brawl, create a disaster, offend the law, pisses off skimmers, and make you lose your money, your temper and your mind!

He can take your sister, your mother, your aunt, and when he is caught get his captain to vouch for his integrity.

A Submariner is loved by all mothers, sisters, aunts and nieces; hated by all fathers, brothers, uncles and nephews.

He has a girl in every port and a port in every girl. He breaks more hearts, causes more fights and begets more bastards than any other man, yet when he is off to sea he is missed more than any other!

A Submariner is a mean, hard drinking, fast running, mealy mouthed son-of-a-bitch, but when you are in strife he is a strong shoulder to lean on, a pillar of wisdom, and a defender of the faith and cause.

He fights for his mate, and dies for his country, without question or hesitation!

***  This is a Submariner! ***


 Remembrance Profiles -  5 Sailors Remembered
  • Landon, Ransom, PO2
  • Schrock, Richard, T/5, (1945-1946)
 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar
Submarine Enlisted Badge

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1979, Recruit Training (Great Lakes, IL), 9135
 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
Submarine School Enlisted BasicUSS Bremerton (SSN-698)USS Cincinnati (SSN-693)Advancement Schools and Courses
Naval Submarine Training Center Pacific (SUBTRACENPAC)COMSUBRON 7, COMSUBPACSchool Assignments - StaffNTTC Corry Field, Pensacola, FL (Staff), Naval Communications Training Center (Staff)
COMSUBRON 4, COMSUBGRU 2USS Sea Devil (SSN-664)School Assignments - Staff
  1979-1979, 00E, Submarine School Enlisted Basic
  1979-1979, 00E, Submarine School Enlisted Basic
  1979-1983, ET-0000, USS Bremerton (SSN-698)
  1980-1980, 00E, USS Cincinnati (SSN-693)
  1980-1980, SA-0000, Torpedo MK 48 & Mods Operational Maintenance Course
  1982-1982, ET-0000, Naval Submarine Training Center Pacific (SUBTRACENPAC)
  1983-1984, ET-0000, Basic Electronics and Electricity School (BE&E) Course
  1984-1984, ET-0000, NTTC Corry Field, Pensacola, FL (Staff), Naval Communications Training Center (Staff)
  1984-1985, ET-14HB, (ET) Electronics Technician C School
  1985-1985, ET-14HB, COMSUBRON 4, COMSUBGRU 2
  1985-1987, ET-14HB, USS Sea Devil (SSN-664)
  1987-1987, Submarine Quality Assurance Inspector School
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1979-1981 Iran Hostage Crisis
  1981-1981 Deployment - Western Pacific (WESTPAC) Cruise '81
  1982-1982 Training Exercise - RIMPAC '821
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