Lt. Col. Philip Lenz, a native of Kimball, S.D., began his military career in 1996 as an enlisted Soldier and member of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, The Old Guard at Fort Myer, Va.
He graduated from Officer Candidate School in 1997 and received a commission in the Air Defense Artillery Branch. His first assignment as an Air Defender was to the 5th Battalion (Patriot), 7th ADA Regiment in Hanau, Germany, where he served as a platoon leader, battery executive officer and assistant battalion S3. He deployed to Israel in support of Operation Desert Thunder and to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Southern Watch.
His next assignment was to the 3rd Battalion (Patriot), 43rd ADA Regiment, where he deployed as the battalion S4 and, later, battery commander in support of operations Desert Spring and Iraqi Freedom. He then served as the aide-de-camp to the ADA school commandant and commanding general of Fort Bliss, Texas, before being selected to attend advanced civil schooling at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. He was later assigned to the 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade at Fort Sill, Okla., where he served as the provisional battalion commander for the 3rd Battalion (Patriot), 2nd ADA Regiment and then deployed as the brigade S3 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Lt. Col. Lenz recently completed a joint assignment with U.S. Strategic Command, where he served in the J35 as a missile defense planner and deputy branch chief of the U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command Regional/Adversary Team.
Lt. Col. Lenz is a graduate of Airborne School; the Air Defense Artillery Officer Basic and Advanced courses; Combined Arms Service and Staff School; Command and General Staff College; and Joint Forces Staff College. He has a bachelor of arts degree in business administration from Mount Marty College in Yankton, S.D., and an MBA from Creighton University.
His military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster; Defense Meritorious Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal with 2 OLCs; Army Commendation Medal with 2 OLCs; Army Achievement Medal with 3 OLCs; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and Service Medal; Army Good Conduct Medal; and Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. He has also earned the Parachutist Badge and German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge (Gold).
Lt. Col. Lenz is married to the former Kari Meyer from Seward, Neb.; and they have three children.