Tyler was raised by his mother, a third grade teacher at Issaquah Elementary, twenty-four kilometers outside of Seattle, Washington. He never knew his father, but his mother told him that he "didn't miss much there." (DIS: "Lethe")
Prior to the Battle of the Binary Stars in 2256, Tyler served as a lieutenant on the USS Yeager under Captain Steven Maranville. He was captured by the Klingon Empire there and held captive. (DIS: "Choose Your Pain")
In an interview with IGN, actor Shazad Latif explained, "Yeah, I think L'Rell used a captured soldier. She took this guy and then used his body and his brain and his memories, with all the skill she has as a conscious[ness]-transferring scientist. It's amazing. It was an ongoing conversation from very early, because, you know, stuff changes completely in ten months as you write [….] So ideas that were originally there in episode one might have completely changed, I think. So there was always different people's views, or producers – you know, different people going, maybe this or this. And, everyone wants to understand the science of it anyway. But, yeah, that was the basic essence of it, that it was more like how it's done. But originally the idea was the same, that he was laid over the top of this core Voq body, and slight, certain organs were put in. And then the transfer of consciousness and memory."