His father owned three shuttlecraft maintenance bays on Tellar's famed Space Elevator, where Kolp and his older brother Lev spent most of their childhood.
At sixteen his parents allowed the brothers to travel to Vulcan, Andor, and Earth as stewards aboard a family friend's starliner. Lev stayed aboard as a crew member and Kolp joined Starfleet the next year.
In early 2372 he decided to retire. While the Lionheart was enroute to Vulcan to begin a five-stop publicity tour of the Federation's founding worlds, he met with Tellar's Federation Councilor, who had come aboard. Councilor Gleer attempted to convince him to stay aboard until the ship arrived at Tellar. Kolp declined, stating that he'd made it this far in his career without being anyone's pawn, and he wouldn't start now. ("Ponn Farr")
When war broke out with the Dominion Kolp returned to uniform overseeing engineering crews refitting and repairing vessels at the Cosmodrome. He worked with Chief Sergey Rozenkho, a warp field specialist who had returned to uniform as well.