Rear Admiral Tracy graduated with distinction from the United States Naval Academy in June 1975. He earned his Master of Science in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the University of Michigan the following year.
Rear Adm. Tracy served at sea aboard USS Thomas A. Edison (SSBN 610), USS Nathaniel Greene (SSBN 636), and USS Albuquerque (SSN 706). He was commanding officer of USS Newport News (SSN 750), guiding the ship through three deployments, including participation in Operation Desert Storm/Vigilant Warrior in 1994. During his tour, Newport News was awarded a Meritorious Unit Commendation, consecutive awards of the Submarine Squadron Eight Battle Efficiency "E" for 1993 and 1994, and the Red Engineering "E" for 1992 and 1993. He was one of three Commander, U.S. Atlantic Fleet finalists for the 1994 Vice Adm. James B. Stockdale Award for inspirational leadership in command.
Ashore, he served on the faculty at the United States Naval Academy from 1981 through 1983, where he received the William P. Clements Award for educational excellence as the top military instructor for the 1982-1983 academic year. He later completed assignments on the staff of Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion, Department of Energy, in Washington, D.C., senior member of the Commander, Submarine Forces, U.S. Atlantic Fleet Tactical Readiness Evaluation Team and as Deputy Director of the Submarine/Nuclear Power Division at the Bureau of Naval Personnel.
In 1997, he took command of Submarine Squadron Eight, an attack submarine squadron based in Norfolk, Va., consisting of nine submarines, a tender, a floating drydock and a submarine torpedo facility. From there he served as Chief of Staff for the Commander, Submarine Forces, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. Rear Adm. Tracy commanded Submarine Group Two and Navy Region Northeast from March 2001 to April 2003 in his first flag assignment. He then served on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations as the Director of Submarine Warfare (OPNAV N77), the warfare requirements and resource sponsor for undersea warfare, as well as co-chair of the Sea Shield and Sea Strike warfare pillars.
From May 2004 to April 2005, Rear Adm. Tracy commanded Cruiser Destroyer Group Two/Carrier Strike Group Ten. During this tour, he led the Harry S. Truman Strike Group during a six-month deployment, supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) during the first Iraqi free elections, in command of Coalition Task Force 50/152 and Expeditionary Strike Force Five.
Rear Adm. Tracy's awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with three gold stars and the Meritorious Service Medal with two gold stars.