Phil is a native of Reston, Virginia in the Washington D.C. region. Graduating in 1995 from Pennsylvania State University in State College, PA, he earned a Bachelors of Arts Degree in History, specializing in Military Studies and Russian. Phil was assigned to flight school and designated a Naval Aviator in July 1998. Phil’s follow-on training as an AV-8B pilot was conducted at Fixed-Wing Marine Attack Training Squadron 203 (VMAT-203) at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, Havelock, North Carolina. He served with the VMA-223 Bulldogs deploying to Greece in 1999, was an instructor pilot assigned to Training Squadron Two (VT-2) in the Pensacola, FL area to teach brand new flight students how to fly, from February 2001 to June 2002.
In November 2002, Phil was reassigned to Marine Wing Support Squadron 371 (MWSS-371) and deployed to Ali Al Saleem Air Base, Kuwait as an Airfield Company Commander. During this nine-month deployment then Captain Kendro was responsible for almost 200 Marines and sailors during the invasion in Iraq, forward deploying within that country and designing multiple Forward Arming and Aerial Refueling Points and reestablishing air bases for combat operations. Back to fly the Harrier, Phil was assigned as the Adjutant and later as the Director of Safety and Standardization within VMA-214, the world famous “Black Sheep”. During this period the squadron was quickly deployed to Al Asad Air Base in the Al Anbar Province supporting Fallujah II operations in May 2004. Graduating from the Naval Aviation Safety School in Pensacola, Florida during the Spring of 2005, he was designated an Aviation Safety Officer.
Phil and his soon-to-be-wife Jill moved to Okinawa, Japan to serve with the newly established 5th Air Naval Gun Liaison Company, better known as 5th ANGLICO. During this period, he led detachments in Darwin, Australia with the Australian Special Forces, and conducted some of the first Close Air Support missions with United States Air Force F-22 Raptors in Alaska. From March 2007 to September 2007, Phil served again in the Al Anbar Province in Western Iraq working with United States Army forces, and Iraqi Battalions and Brigades.
Upon his arrival to San Diego, California, he was assigned as the MCAS Miramar Assistant Airfield Operations Officer, with collateral duties as an UC-35 Cessna Citation Pilot. During his time at MCAS Miramar, led multiple jobs within the Miramar Air Show and enhanced the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Demonstration, assumed the role as the on-scene commander for the 2008 University Town Center mishap, helped develop and lead the 2011 Centennial of Naval Aviation Flyover of San Diego Bay, deployed in support of the VMR mission to Qatar (pronounce CUT-TER) in 2009 and 2011, and represented the Marine Corps in New Zealand in 2010 at their Warfighting Seminar. It was also during this period that Major Kendro completed his Masters in International Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution from Norwich University.
Upon his 2011 return from Qatar, Phil was re-assigned to the Third Marine Aircraft Wing and provided a conduit between Station and the Wing, deployed forward to Afghanistan in support of Third Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) from February to August 2012, continued his Miramar Air Show support, led multiple community relation efforts, and was instrumental in efforts to change sequestration rules and aviation support within the entire Department of Defense. He retired in May 2015 after serving 20 years honorably.