A native of South St. Paul, Minnesota and a graduate of Bemidji State University, he was commissioned in 1976 as an infantry officer.
As a field grade officer, Lt. Gen. Waldhauser was a battalion landing team operations officer and served on the faculty of the Amphibious Warfare School.
As a colonel in 2000, he assumed command of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which participated in combat operations in Southern Afghanistan and Iraq.
In 2003, Lt. Gen. Waldhauser was appointed to the rank of brigadier general and his initial assignments were commanding general, Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, and deputy commander, Marine Corps Combat Development Command. From 2006-2007, he served as chief of staff, U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Florida.
As a major general, he commanded the 1st Marine Division from 2007-2009.
Lt. Gen. Waldhauser was promoted to lieutenant general in 2009 and served as the deputy commandant for plans, policies, and operations. From 2010-2012, he served as the commanding general of both the I Marine Expeditionary Force and the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command. He then served as the senior military assistant to the Secretary of Defense from 2012-2013.
Prior to assuming his current role, he served as the director of operations, Joint Staff J3.
Lt. Gen. Waldhauser holds a master’s degree in national security strategies from the National War College. He also attended the U.S. Army Ranger School, Jumpmaster School, Amphibious Warfare School and the Marine Corps Command and Staff College.