Tristan Lecoq was born in Le Havre on October 10, 1958 and is a former student of the École Normale Supérieure of Saint-Cloud and a holder of an agrégation in history. He has served as a general inspector for the Éducation Nationale (history-geography) since 2003, and as a Professor associated with the Paris Sorbonne University (modern history) since 2007. He is the captain of a reserve vessel.
He has notably been an advisor to the minister of state, the minister of defence (1993-1995), and a representative for the general-secretary of national defence (1998-2003).
He is a member of the scientific boards of the Fondation de la Résistance and the Fondation Charles-de-Gaulle, and the general-secretary for the steering committee of the Centre Thucydide.