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Lieutenant General Michael S. Tucker is a United States Army General who formerly served as the Commanding General of the U.S. Army's 2nd Infantry Division. On July 6, 2012, the Chief of Staff of the Army announced his reassignment as the Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7, United States Army, Washington, DC. On March 9, 2007, The Washington Post reported Army Vice Chief of Staff General Richard A. Cody's announcement that Tucker, a prior-enlisted soldier and a non-member of the Army Medical Corps, had been selected to take over the Deputy Commander position at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as part of a major "leadership restructuring at Walter Reed…designed to attack problems and lapses exposed" in the growing scandal over poor healthcare and treatment conditions for wounded combat outpatients at the historic medical facility, exposed in an undercover expose by Post reporters. On August 2, General Tucker was promoted to Lieutenant General and named as the new commander of First Army stationed at Rock Island Arsenal.
Background and Experience
Lieutenant General Tucker entered the United States Army as a private in 1972 and served as a cavalry scout for 1st Battalion, 35th Armor in Erlangen, Germany until he departed as a staff sergeant 1977. In 1979, following two years as a drill sergeant in the 3rd Basic Combat Training Brigade at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, General Tucker was accepted to Officer Candidate School, where he graduated as a Distinguished Military Graduate.
After being commissioned in armor, General Tucker's first assignment was tank platoon leader, 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, General Tucker returned to Germany in January 1986 to command Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 35th Armor, 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.
Lieutenant General Tucker attended Army Command and General Staff College in 1991-92 and was then assigned as an Assistant Professor, United States Military Academy, 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, Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama.
Lieutenant General Tucker commanded 1st Battalion, 64th Armor, 3d Infantry Division (Mechanized) from June 1996 to June 1998 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, he assumed command of 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division, which culminated in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and then assumed duties as Executive Officer, Commanding General U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army.
After completing his tour as Executive Officer, he assumed duties as the Assistant Division Commander (Maneuver) for the 1st Armored Division from August 2004 to August 2005. He then moved over to be the Assistant Division Commander (Support) from August 2005 until June 2006. Shortly after, General Tucker was selected to succeed Albert Bryant, Jr. as the Deputy Commanding General/Assistant Commandant, United States Army Armor Center and Fort Knox, and then assigned to Walter Reed in April 2007.
After completing his tour at Walter Reed, Lieutenant General Tucker was assigned as Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, International Security Assistance Force (Afghanistan), where he served until 2009. General Tucker then commanded Second Infantry Division in Korea from September 2009 to September 2011, followed by his assignment as the Department of the Army's Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff G-3/5/7 prior to his selection for promotion to Lieutenant General and command of First Army.
General Tucker's civilian education includes a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland, a Master's Degree in Military Arts and Sciences from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Shippensburg University.
Assignment in Wake of Walter Reed Army Medical Center Controversy
On February 18, 2007, the Washington Post began publishing a series of articles outlining cases of neglect at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center reported by wounded soldiers and their family members.
As additional coverage by the Post and other news outlets continued, congressional hearings convened, and a growing scandal emerged. The sitting commander of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Major General Donald Weightman, resigned his command, and Secretary of the Army Francis Harvey was asked to step down as well, with the Army promising further restructuring and leadership changes to address the situation.
On March 8, 2007, Army Vice Chief of Staff General Richard A. Cody’s announced that General Tucker would report to Washington to take over the Deputy Commander position at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as part of a major “leadership restructuring at Walter Reed….designed to attack problems and lapses exposed” in the growing scandal. Additionally, General Cody expressed his wish to “ensure that veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan receive the care and respect they deserve” and offered his belief that “new leadership is key to fixing problems that let outpatient soldiers fall through the cracks.” Explaining the Army’s selection of a non-medical corps Tucker, General Cody pointed to Tucker’s experience as a combat officer:
"He understands soldiers. He understands leading in combat. He understands how to run large organizations. He's going to be the guy that we look to to be the soldiers' and families' advocate as they go through inpatient and outpatient, but also he's going to be the bureaucratic buster. . . and take on this bureaucracy that at times frustrates our soldiers."
Awards and decorations
- Legion of Merit (2 Oak Leaf Clusters)
- Bronze Star with “V” device (1 Oak Leaf Cluster)
- Defense Meritorious Service Medal
- Meritorious Service Medal (3 Oak Leaf Clusters)
- Army Achievement Medal (2 Oak Leaf Clusters)
- Army Good Conduct Medal (2 Oak Leaf Clusters)
- National Defense Service Medal (3 Star)
- Afghanistan Campaign Medal
- Southwest Asia Service Medal (2 Stars)
- Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
- Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
- NATO ISAF Medal
- NCO Professional Development Ribbon (3 Device)
- Army Service Ribbon
- Overseas Service Ribbon (3 Device)
- Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
- Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)
- Expert Infantryman Badge
- Parachutist Badge
- Drill Sergeant Identification Badge
Lieutenant General Tucker has also earned the German Ranger Badge.