A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Michael S. “Mike” Tucker enlisted in the United States Army as a private in 1972. He served as a cavalry scout with the 1st Battalion, 35th Armor in Erlangen, Germany, reaching the rank of Staff Sergeant in 1977. In 1979, after two years as a drill sergeant in the 3rd Basic Combat Training Brigade at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, he was accepted into Officer Candidate School, where he graduated as a Distinguished Military Graduate.
After being commissioned as a lieutenant in the armor branch, Tucker’s first assignment was as a tank platoon leader in B Company, 1st Battalion, 35th Armor, Germany. During this tour from January 1980 until July 1984 he served as a Tank Company Executive Officer, Battalion Motor Officer, commanded the Battalion’s Combat Support Company and C Company. Following stateside schooling, he returned to Germany in January 1986 to command Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 35th Armor. He then served as the Battalion Adjutant, Deputy Sub-Community Commander of Ferris Barracks, and finally as the S3, 1st Battalion, 35th Armor in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.
Tucker attended Army Command and General Staff College in 1991 and 1992, and was then assigned as an Assistant Professor at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He was then selected to serve as a joint staff officer, and was assigned as Chief, Joint Network Simulations at the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. He commanded 1st Battalion, 64th Armor, 3d Infantry Division (Mechanized) from June 1996 to June 1998 at Fort Stewart, Georgia, and following attendance at the U.S. Army War College, was assigned as the G3, 3d Infantry Division (Mechanized) from June 1999 to February 2001.
In March 2001 as a Colonel, Tucker assumed command of the 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division, which culminated in a combat tour in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and then assumed duties as the Executive Officer to the Commanding General U.S. Army Europe and Seventh United States Army. After completing this tour, Tucker was promoted to Brigadier General and assigned as the Assistant Division Commander (Maneuver) of the 1st Armored Division from August 2004 to August 2005. He then moved over to become the Assistant Division Commander (Support) from August 2005 until June 2006. Shortly after, General Tucker was selected to succeed Brigadier General Albert Bryant, Jr., as the Deputy Commanding General/Assistant Commandant of the United States Army Armor Center at Fort Knox, Kentucky. General Tucker was then assigned to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in April 2007.