Lieutenant General Tryon enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1970 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps in 1975 upon graduation from the Naval Academy.
Following The Basic School, he held various assignments in 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, served as aide-de-camp to the commanding general 1st Marine Division/I MAF, and completed a tour as the headquarters company commander, 4th Marines in Okinawa in 1980.
After a tour at Recruiting Station New York, he attended Amphibious Warfare School in 1983. He then joined 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, where he served as company commander and operations officer. He attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in 1987, concurrently earning a master’s degree in management from Webster University.
In 1988, he transferred to the Special Operations Command, Europe. He deployed in support of Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm, serving with the Joint Special Operations Task Force. Following Desert Storm, he deployed with Joint Special Operations Task Force Provide Comfort operating in northern Iraq and southern Turkey.
In 1991, he reported to the Special Operations Training Group, II MEF as director of the Special Missions Branch. From 1993 to 1995, he commanded 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines. He was then assigned to the Pentagon as deputy executive assistant to the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff until 1997. He attended The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and received a master’s degree in international public policy in 1998.
He served as commanding officer, 24th MEU (SOC) from 1998 to 2000, and as commanding officer, Marine Barracks, Washington, DC, from 2000 until 2002. From 2002 until 2004, he served as executive officer to the supreme allied commander, Europe/Commander, U.S. European Command.
In 2004, he was assigned as commanding general of Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island and the Eastern Recruiting Region and subsequently as commanding general of Marine Corps Recruiting Command, Quantico, Virginia, in June 2006. In June 2008, he assumed command of 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. One month later, he further assumed duties as commanding general, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).
Upon deployment to Iraq in January 2009, he was designated as the commanding general, Multinational Force—West. In January 2010, he returned to Camp Lejeune, relinquishing command of II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) in February 2010 and 2nd Marine Division in July 2010. In October 2010, he was selected as deputy commandant for Plans, Policies, and Operations. He assumed duties as commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command and U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe in June 2013.
Lieutenant General Tryon retired from the Marine Corps in August 2014. He is currently the senior fellow in international leadership in the Hicks Honors College at the University of North Florida. He joined the Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Advisory Council in 2015 and now serves on the WWP Board of Directors.