A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Vice Admiral Nora Tyson graduated from Vanderbilt University and received her commission from Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. She earned her wings as a naval flight officer in 1983 and reported to Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron (VQ) 4, where she ultimately served three tours at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Maryland, and Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, including one as commanding officer.
Tyson also commanded the amphibious assault ship, USS Bataan (LHD 5), leading the Navy’s contributions to disaster relief efforts on the U.S. Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and deploying twice to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Her other commands include commander, Task Force 73/commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific based in Singapore and, most recently, commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 2, where she led the USS George H.W. Bush Strike Group on its maiden deployment in support of operations in both 6th and 5th Fleet areas of responsibility.
Her other tours at sea include assistant operations officer aboard the training aircraft carrier, USS Lexington (AVT 16), and as navigator aboard USS Enterprise (CVN 65).
Her shore tours include service on the Joint Staff as a political-military planner in the Asia-Pacific Division of the Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate (J-5); as executive assistant for the assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; as director of staff for Commander, Naval Forces Europe/Commander, 6th Fleet; as executive assistant for the Chief of Naval Operations; and as vice director, Joint Staff. Tyson's last tour was as deputy commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command. Tyson reported as Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet in July 2015.
Tyson earned a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Affairs from the U.S. Naval War College in 1995.