Tia Jolie was born in Westland, Michigan and grew up as the second of five children. At four, her family relocated to Redford, Michigan where Tia Jolie attended George Fisher Elementary, John D. Pierce Jr. High School, and Lee M. Thurston High School. Her first memories and dreams included flying and airplanes.
As a young athlete, Tia Jolie played organized baseball for school and for community leagues, including an interstate travel team. In high school, she ran varsity track & field competing in the low hurdles and the pole vault. In college, she fought on her squadron’s intramural boxing team for four years and was active in the Tia Kwan Do club. Today, Tia Jolie remains active in yoga, Pilates, swimming, biking and Krav Maga. She also stays in shape working on her 20-acre homestead.
As a musician, Tia Jolie was the lead jazz trumpeter both in school and at the Interlochen Fine Arts Academy. She also played in marching bands, pep bands, and solo & ensemble competitions. In college, she toured and competed as a soprano bugler in the U.S. Air Force Academy Drum & Bugle Corps. In 1995, Tia Jolie taught herself to play the bass guitar and has since played in jazz groups and rock bands. Today, she still plays bass guitar as a freelances bassist for groups around Central Florida.
Tia Jolie has served her family, the churches and her communities throughout her life. As a young child, she was an altar servant and printed the weekly church bulletin using an offset press. In high school, she voluntarily learned CPR and taught hundreds of adults and teens CPR during her high school years. While in the Air Force, Tia Jolie was an honored supporter of Father Flanagan’s Boys Home. After receiving her honorable discharge from the military, she served as President of her city’s Rotary Club and as the President of her church’s board. More recently, she was recognized as a leader in affecting positive change for at-risk humans, especially at-risk and LGBTQ teens.
As a high school senior, Tia Jolie competed for and won an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy through Michigan’s Senator Donald Riegle. In 1981, she graduated with honors and all A’s as salutatorian (2nd of 409 students) from Lee M. Thurston High School in Redford, Michigan. Ten days later, she reported for Basic Cadet Training for the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and spent the next four years earning the right to fulfill her dream of being a military aviator.
As an Air Force Academy cadet, Tia Jolie was on the Dean’s list (academic achievement), the Commandant’s list (military achievement), and/or the Superintendent’s list (for both lists simultaneously) for all but one semester. As a freshman, she competed for and won placement in the Cadet Airmanship Program where she earned both her soaring wings and her military freefall parachutist wings. She voluntarily participated in Reconnaissance Commando (ReCondo) Training and was asked to return as an instructor.
In May 1985, Tia Jolie graduated from the Academy earning a B.S. Electrical Engineering with an emphasis in Physics. She was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and received her first choice of pilot training bases, Reese AFB in Lubbock, Texas, flying both the Lockheed T-37 “Tweet” and the Northrup T-38 Talon.
Upon graduation from Undergraduate Pilot Training in 1986, Tia Jolie received her first choice of aircraft and assignment–a C-141 Starlifter to McGuire AFB, New Jersey. She completed her upgrade training and aerial refueling schooling at Altus AFB in Altus, Oklahoma.
In January 1987, Tia Jolie married relocated to her first home in Moorestown, New Jersey where Tia Jolie continued her military flying career in strategic airlift. In December 1987 and in April 1989, Tia Jolie welcomed her first and second sons, respectively, into the world. Her life was changed forever.
Early in her flying career, Tia Jolie was hand-picked to fly critical White House support operations and quickly became proficient in air/land, air drop and aerial refueling missions. Her work involved flying worldwide in support of U.S. Operations stateside and abroad. In less than three years, she visited almost 50 countries, missing only the continents of Antarctica and Australia. In 1989, she became a C-141 Aircraft Commander as a First Lieutenant, ahead of her peers. Tia Jolie also tested for and received her civilian pilot’s license to fly multi-engine airplanes in instrument conditions.
About the same time, she wanted to increase the amount of time she spent with her young family, so she accepted an opportunity to become an Instructor Pilot in the Air Force’s supersonic trainer, the T-38A Talon. By the end of the year, she moved her family to Reese Air Force Base in Lubbock, Texas. During this tour, now Captain Tia Jolie Phillips served as an Assistant Flight Commander, a Flight Safety Officer, and Squadron Training Officer. Later, she was to become one of only two pilots certified to fly in ejection seat-equipped aircraft with the audio-visual equipment required to produce In-Flight Training Programs for the base.
Yearning to return to her home state of Michigan, Tia Jolie accepted a rated supplement tour—the ignoble “desk job”—with the hope of being able to land a flying job with a local Michigan Air National Guard unit. From 1992 until 1995, Tia Jolie served as the Recruiting Service’s Chief of Advertising and Promotions for the state. As a prerequisite for that work, Tia Jolie was hand-picked to attend the prestigious, Defense Information School (DINFOS) for intense training in public affairs and marketing.
During her subsequent tour of duty as Advertising and Promotions Officer for the State of Michigan, she generated almost $3 million of free media exposure for the Air Force, and for her efforts received national recognition from recruiting headquarters. She was consequently chosen to train her peers in other states and elements of her marketing strategies were adopted by the Air Force for their programs nationwide. Tia Jolie’s exceptional work in promotions and marketing eventually led her to a job at Air Force Recruiting Headquarters where she managed the Air Force’s national budget for all officer programs.
In September 1993, Tia Jolie was blessed with her first daughter. As much as Tia Jolie loved her Air Force career, she knew that her primary calling was one of being a parent. Tia Jolie’s desire to spend more time with her family was so intense that she spent many evenings and weekends seeking ways to work from home.
In early 1994, Tia Jolie advised her commander that she could not be accepting further promotions within the Air Force. As if he did not hear, Tia Jolie’s commander ordered her to attend Squadron Officers’ School at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. Tia Jolie dutifully attended—though under duress—and returned as a Distinguished Graduate from that school.
Later that year, Tia Jolie met the struggle of her life realizing that her marriage was no longer viable. Saddled with pending orders to Korea that did not permit her to have a family with her, Tia Jolie filed for divorce then agreed to a co-parenting arrangement for her three children. During her times alone, she re-dedicated herself to improving her mind, body, and spirit while seeking to salvage her decimated estate.
Newly divorced, Tia Jolie’s routine outside of work involved going to the gym, talking to her priest, and reading books. A church friend and weight-lifting friend suggested she meet a friend of his to see if she could help her because she, too, was recently divorced from an obsessive-compulsive spouse.
The girl was a full-time paralegal at the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office, she headed a staff of paralegals and she was exceptional at her work. In the months to come, they became best of friends, sharing light, hope, perspectives, laughs and sobs with each other. The two found a romance and friendship. They eloped and were married in December of 1995.
After receiving her honorable discharge from the Air Force in November 1997, Tia Jolie made a bee line for the Air National Guard in Battle Creek where she was planning to accept a full time job flying A-10 attack aircraft. However, to her surprise and dismay, the unit’s newly-installed commander had a different “favorite flyer” that was hired instead.
Without a cockpit, Tia Jolie scrambled to land on her feet and was immediately hired as a Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical sales representative. As a new saleswoman, Tia Jolie moved her assigned territory from the bottom 10% to the top 10% in the country in less than six months. Within her first year, she became a sales trainer and taught her peers sales techniques at her manager’s request. Successful in, but not impressed with, the pharmaceutical industry, Tia Jolie took a tip from yet another gym friend to check into marketing mortgages as a loan originator. She did so, and after less than a year led that company’s sales staff in gross yield for loans closed.
In July 1999, Tia Jolie and her partner were blessed with a baby of their own. By then, Tia Jolie was working full-time from her home office–a fulfillment of a life dream to finally be the full-time parent. The flexibility in her new schedule allowed her to chase other dreams like re-establishing her workout schedule, allowing her partner to pursue her life’s ambition of earning a degree in the culinary arts, and being able to once again take to the skies in pursuit of other flying opportunities.
Though less than a year in the mortgage business, Tia Jolie began writing freelance columns for various newspapers and publications, and speaking to small groups of Realtors at every opportunity. She took clippings of her work to local newspapers for publishing consideration for many months without success or even an acknowledgement of her work. Finally, after six months of trying, Tia Jolie was given an opportunity to publish for the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers, a network of papers that covered 15 local communities in Detroit’s western suburbs. This new front-page opportunity as a newspaper columnist was a major blessing in Tia Jolie’s life and mortgage business as it allowed her to share her ideas with 250,000 readers weekly and benefit from the resulting business.
In the fall of 2005, Tia Jolie’s persistent efforts to return to the cockpit paid off in that she was hired to fly corporate jets out of Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, Michigan and out of Detroit Metro Airport (DTW). In August 2006, she left that company to fly as a “Pilot for Hire” performing freelance contract work for corporate flyers.
In September 2006, Tia Jolie earned an additional pilot type rating in the Boeing 737 using her VA Educational Benefits and in November 2006 was hired as an instructor pilot for Flight Safety, Incorporated. On the fast-track, she was selected to serve as a Check Airman (Training Center Evaluator) in January 2007 and received her certification to do so in February 2007.
April of 2007 brought Tia Jolie a commercial flying opportunity allowing her to once again fly “heavy metal”. She was hired by JetBlue Airways to fly the Airbus A320 throughout North America and the Caribbean. Quickly, Tia Jolie learned that commuting to her pilot base in New York from her home in the Detroit area was a painfully inefficient and in the summer of 2009 she moved her family near JetBlue’s Florida pilot base in Ft. Lauderdale so she could drive to work instead. This move blessed her with an extra 10 to 12 nights home per month.
In 2010, due in large part to the instability in the airline industry and concern for her continued airline employment, Tia Jolie became a licensed Realtor in Florida as a back-up career. As she had hoped and planned, her new predictable schedule allowed her more time with her family and for further developing her family businesses.
In 2014, Tia Jolie completed her Master of Science degree in Holistic Nutrition from The University of Natural Health and shortly later upgraded to Captain with JetBlue Airways. In 2016, she became a doctor, earning an additional (PhD) degree Holistic Nutrition and Natural Health. During those years, she also established Jupiter PRIDE+ (LGBT & friends) and was the founder and bassist for a local high-energy rock band, CrossOver.
In April 2019, with her youngest son now in college, Tia Jolie relocated from Jupiter, Florida to homestead on 20 acres in Groveland, Florida, where she began sustainably assembling a veganic farm she calls “Phillips Island” which is rooted in permaculture principles. “Captain” Phillips took a long-term leave of absence from her duties as a commercial pilot for JetBlue Airways, while Dr. Tia Jolie donates pro bono consultation to the sick and needy. She envisions a further goal of developing her Earth Angel project which will provide fresh, local, chemical-free, veganic plant foods to her communities while raising funds to rescue at-risk humans and animals.
She and her family now live in Central Florida where they are surrounded by hills, lakes, trees and wildlife. Together, they enjoy the warmth and brightness of Florida’s deliriously blue sub-tropical skies. Dr. Phillips speaks throughout Florida on health topics including eating cleanly, building immunity, restoring health from chronic conditions, optimizing nutrition and detoxifying bodily systems and beliefs.
Tia Jolie is a Doctor of Holistic Natural Health & Nutrition (PhD) and she is an ordained Holistic Health & Healing Priestess which allows her to speak to you about your health with impunity, candor and absolute privacy protection. She received her first academic degree in Electrical Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy where her interests were in the physics of light and sound. She has since expanded those interests to include the biological implications of cymatics, electromagnetic therapies, energy healing, orthomolecular science and epigenetics.