Hutier came from military stock: his grandfather soldiered with Napoleon and remained in Germany; his father rose to command a regiment in the Prussian Army, earning enoblement in the War of 1870. Hutier's mother was a Ludendorff; Erich (the Quartermaster General) was his first cousin. Following completion of the Lichterfelde cadet school, Hutier enjoyed a normal career, passing into the General Staff Corps with the following accolade from his instructor, then Lt. Col. v. Hindenburg: "highly gifted young officer, of whom the greatest hopes are merited."
Alternating back and forth between troop and staff duty, Hutier rose steadily. The Marne Campaign found him commanding the 1st Guard Infantry Division in Bülow's 2d Army. In the spring of 1915 he moved to the Eastern Front and command of the XXIst Army Corps, part of Eichhorn's 10th Army which took Vilna and Kovno. He became the commander of Army Section "D" (formerly Section Scholtz) on the Düna River south of Riga in January 1917, and in April of that year, the 8th Army.
On 3 September 1917, the 8th Army took Riga, earning its commander the Pour le Mèrite. A month later, 8th Army units took the Baltic Islands in the only successful amphibious operation of the war. Hutier then went to the Western Front and command of the newly created 18th Army, the army which led the breakthrough on 21 March 1918, starting the Spring Offensive. Hutier had the equivalent of 5 corps and 27 divisions. In several days, the 18th Army took 50,000 prisoners and advanced some 60 kilometers, leaving its sister armies on its flanks far behind. For these efforts, the Kaiser presented Hutier with the Eichenlaub to his Pour le Mèrite on 23 March.
The remainder of the war saw Hutier skillfully directing the 18th Army against English and French attacks. Following the armistice, Hutier led his forces back across the Rhine. His parole to his army on 10 November intimated the infamous stab-in-the-back legend: "Undefeated by the enemy, but forced to this by external circumstances, we have to abandon the territory we occupied after so fierce a contest. ... we can nevertheless march back to our beloved country with our heads held high...." He submitted his resignation in January 1919, taking over the presidency of the German Officers League (Dt. Offiziersbund ), a post he held until January 1934. He died at the end of 1934, at the age of 77.