Sasha Phillips was in eighth grade in 2001, and enlisted in the Illinois National Guard at the age of seventeen in 2006. By 2009 she was serving in Afghanistan, working as a helicopter mechanic in sites that included Kandahar and at Bagram Air Base. She experienced mortar fire during her tour, and received the Combat Action Badge. Sasha married Marcus Phillips in 2010. The two had met during their Advance Individual Training at Ft. Eustis, Virginia.