Walter C. Uhler served in the U.S. Army Security Agency (a branch of the National Security Agency) from late 1966 to early 1971. He received BA’s in Political Science and Russian Language, as well as a certificate in Russian Area Studies, from the Pennsylvania State University in 1973. As a graduate student and teaching assistant, he studied Russian History at Penn State under Sergei Vasilievich Utechin during 1973-76. He received an MPA from Penn State in 1992. His Master’s Essay compared the weapons acquisition process in the United States and the Soviet Union.
From 1976 until his retirement in March 2008 he was employed as a weapons acquisition executive in the Department of Defense. His negotiations with defense contractors saved DOD hundreds of millions of dollars. He also was quite successful in his efforts to foster diversity and equal employment opportunity in the workplace .
For more than thirty years, he has been an independent scholar specializing in Russian and military history, the Cold War, and international security. His numerous articles, op-eds, and reviews have been published in The Nation, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Journal of Military History, Russian History, the San Francisco Chronicle, Moscow Times, St. Petersburg Times (Russia), Philadelphia Inquirer, Defense News, the Naval War College Review, Journal of Slavic Military Studies (London) and Russkaya Evropa (St. Petersburg) among other journals magazines and newspapers. His article, “National Missile Defense and Russian-American Relations,” remains posted on the website of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and his article, “Democracy or dominion?” was republished in a college textbook (Annual Editions: World Politics 05/06) in 2005. The Summer 2005 issue of Slavic Review published an obituary of his mentor, Sergei Vasilievich Utechin, which he was honored to write.
In 2000, at the invitation of Mikhail Gorbachev, he participated in the State of the World Forum in New York, which coincided with the UN’s Millennium Summit. In 2002, he presented testimony about missile defense to state legislatures in Vermont and California. That same year he gave interviews to radio stations across the country (as well as to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) on that subject.
From May 2004 until June 2007 he served as President of the Russian-American International Studies Association, which holds an annual conference at St. Petersburg State University, Russia. In May 2005 he gave interviews about the state of Russian-American relations to two TV stations in St. Petersburg. In May 2006, he co-chaired the 15th annual conference at St. Petersburg State University, which hosted Mikhail Gorbachev as its keynote speaker. And, in May 2007, he co-chaired the 16th annual conference, which featured Ambassador Yuli Vorontsov, as well as 15 American undergraduate students from Virginia Commonwealth University.
For years he was a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies and the National Book Critics Circle. Since the mid-1990s, his biography has been included in every edition of Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World.