Lt. Col. Philip Salinas graduated in 1978 with a gold cord and was student body president. Joining the military, he was commissioned Second Lieutenant, USMC in May, 1982. He later graduated from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, KS. While attending the Army College, Salinas also earned a master's degree from St. Mary College in Leavenworth.
Lt. Col. Salinas served in Okinawa, Japan, and Saudi Arabia. He participated in Desert Shield and Desert Storm, assigned to Task Force "Papa Bear" (clearing mine fields.)