Battlestar Galactica Wiki
Battlestar Galactica Wiki
Battlestar Galactica 2004 Continuity
(Battlestar Galactica 2004, Caprica and Blood & Chrome)

Rear Admiral William Adama was an officer in the Colonial Fleet. Born to a Caprican family of Tauron heritage, Adama was conscripted into military service during the Cylon War, in which he served as a Raptor and Viper pilot under the callsign "Husker". Following a career in the merchant navy, Adama's connections allowed for him to be remobilised. During this second career he rose to become a Commander, the lowest rank possible to command a Battlestar. Although serving on such ships as Atlantia and Valkyrie, Adama's career went through a period of winding down when he was assigned to Galactica, which was to be decommissioned. Due to his refusal to network the ship, Galactica survived the Fall of the Twelve Colonies, and Adama worked with the civilian President Laura Roslin in leading a refugee convoy in search of Earth.


Early life[]

Apotheosis - Young Adama

Adama was born to Joseph and Evelyn Adama, and was named in honor of his half-brother per Tauron tradition.[1] He in turn was named after their mutual grandfather, William, who was killed during the Tauron Civil War with his wife, Isabelle.

Cylon War[]

The Cylon uprising began when Adama was a child, but the length of the war bled its way into the regular lives of civilians. Adama himself was inspired to sign up because of men like Ezra Barzel and Deke Tornvald who were hailed as heroes across the Twelve Colonies due to heavy censorship by the government.[2] Adama joined the Colonial Fleet's training academy when he came of age, rather than wait for mandatory conscription. Developing a knack for flying, he was trained as a Viper pilot and excelled as the top of his class, graduating around 1958 as an Ensign.[2]

Adama's first ship was Galactica, one of the original twelve battlestars that had become highly favored ships in the Colonial Fleet owing to their invulnerability to Cylon computer hacking. Galactica's CO, Commander Silas Nash, believed new Viper pilots were a danger to any mission as they were too headstrong and, consequently, Adama was made a Raptor co-pilot and ECO for Lieutenant Coker Fasjovik.[2]

Adama's first mission on Galactica was the transport of Dr. Becca Kelly, a former Graystone Industries Cylon engineer, to Archeron. To prevent Cylon forces intercepting wireless communications that would endanger the mission, the two officers were made to believe they were being sent to a nearby asteroid field to search for automated missile batteries until they were out of Galactica's DRADIS range, whereupon their real mission began. Archeron itself was found to be destroyed in a recent Cylon ambush, but the three continued on to Archeron's destination. There, they found themselves in the middle of the Ghost Fleet, a top-secret fleet of warships that had been deliberately declared destroyed during combat and kept in secret to prepare for a counter-offensive totally unpredicted by the enemy. Adama volunteered to take part in the Offensive, and was assigned to Osiris. His orders were to transport Dr. Kelly to the surface of the planet Djerba and meet up with a Marine reconnaissance team searching for a Cylon communications hub, so that a computer virus could be installed into its terminal.[2] The mission on Djerba was hit by a number of failings, with Osiris engaging in a mutually-destructive fight with a basestar. The Raptor successfully dropped the team onto the surface outside of Cylon detection, though found only Marine Tech Sgt. Xander Toth had survived to meet with them. After spending the night at the ruins of a holiday resort, they made their way to the hub, losing Sgt. Toth to Centurions. There, it was discovered Dr. Kelly was in fact planning to reveal the existence of the Ghost Fleet to the Cylons rather than upload a virus, being a militant Cylon rights activist. Ensign Adama was forced to shoot the hub to destroy its data rather than upload the virus, and he and Lieutenant Fasjovik were evacuated, leaving Dr. Kelly to be killed by a Cylon. Following the mission, Ensign Adama was required by Commander Nash to sign-off on a heavily redacted version of events, which he reluctantly agreed to, and was then promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and given a Viper.[2]

Over the next two years Lieutenant Adama participated in a number of battles against the Cylons, and became romantically involved with a Raptor pilot, Jaycie McGavin. In the final week of the war, however, McGavin was seriously wounded and possibly killed.[3] On the final day, Galactica, Columbia and a third Battlestar took part in Operation Raptor Talon to take control of a Cylon planet believed to be the site of advanced weapons research. During the operation, Columbia was destroyed, and Lieutenant Adama was shot down in the planet's atmosphere. He reached the facility to find it to be a laboratory where civilians were being experimented on. Though he reported the launch of a Basestar, Galactica refused to intercept upon the sudden broadcasting of a Colonial-Cylon armistice.[4]

Merchant Marine service[]

After the war ended, Adama married his first wife Carolanne and fathered two sons with her: Zak and Lee. Adama later relates to Captain Louanne Katraine how, during both her pregnancies, Carolanne was convinced that she was carrying a daughter, and was surprised by the arrival of a son. Adama himself would have liked a daughter, saying that "three's a good round number".

Adama's military career declined after the war. Like many servicemen after the end of a conflict, he was discharged. He found himself serving on a commercial freighter on the Caprica-Tauron run, where he met a fellow former Viper pilot, Saul Tigh. The pair forged a lasting friendship, and Adama arguably saved Tigh from his most self-destructive impulses.[5]

Return to the Fleet[]

During this period, Adama used his wife's family's connections in the Defense Council to get himself reinstated in the Colonial Fleet with the rank of Captain. Once he had been promoted to the rank of Major, he secured Tigh's reinstatement in the Fleet as well.[5] He later divorced Carolanne, and she later was engaged to marry again at the time of the Cylons' devastation of the Twelve Colonies.[6]

As a Major, Adama served on Atlantia, where he had an ongoing feud with the ship's landing signal officer that inspired a celebration of his thousandth landing. He later served as the executive officer of Columbia, presumably as a Colonel, before earning his own command, Valkyrie. Adama brought Tigh with him as his XO. At some point during this phase of his career, Adama either served aboard or visited a Mercury class battlestar.[7]

Valkyrie senior staff

As CO of Valkyrie.

Approximately three years before the Fall of the Twelve Colonies, the Colonial Admiralty ordered Adama and Valkyrie to test the Cylons' military disposition with a covert (and illegal) surveillance mission across the Armistice Line. The Stealthstar reconnaissance craft was discovered by the Cylons and damaged; Adama ordered Valkyrie's weapons batteries to destroy it to prevent its capture. These events precipitated his transfer to the ageing Galactica as a graceful swan-song to his career before returning to haunt him three years later.[8]

Both Adama's sons chose to follow in their father's footsteps and become Viper pilots. While Lee went on to become an accomplished pilot, Zak was not a natural in the cockpit. While in training, Zak began a secret relationship with Kara Thrace, his flight instructor. Zak would have failed basic flight training had Kara not passed him based on her feelings for him (he had recently proposed to her).[9] During an operational flight, Zak's Viper crashed and he was killed. This tragedy drove a wedge between Adama and his surviving son, Lee, who blamed his father for pushing Zak into military service.[6] It was also during this time that William Adama met Kara, sparking a father-daughter relationship.[9]

The Cylons return[]

Two years after Zak's death, the fifty-year-old Galactica was nearing the end of its service, destined to be converted into a museum ship. On the morning following the ship's decommissioning ceremony (Caprica City Time), the Cylons launched a surprise attack on the Twelve Colonies, bombarding the colonies with nuclear warheads and destroying the majority of the Colonial Fleet. The Fleet was unable to mount an effective counterattack due to Cylon infiltration of the Colonial ships' Command Navigation Program (CNP).[6]

Since Adama fought in the first Cylon War, he knew that the Cylons could use electronics as part of their offensive repertoire. Adama's past experiences with the Cylons left him with a healthy distrust of sophisticated computer systems and heavy automation. He therefore decreed that as part of Galactica's standing orders, her computer systems were never to be networked, and even though Galactica had Baltar's CNP program installed on its systems, thanks to Adama's orders it was never loaded into primary memory. As a result, the outmoded, ageing Galactica was spared from Cylon infiltration attempts that crippled and subsequently destroyed much of the Colonial Fleet. However, most of Galactica's Viper Mark VII fighters did possess the CNP and were lost early in the attack.[6] Fortunately, as part of its museum display, Galactica had forty older Viper Mark II's on board, including Adama's personal fighter from the First Cylon War. The CNP was later purged from Galactica's systems as well as the remainder of the Mark VII fighters.

Following the devastating attack on the Colonies, Commander Adama felt that the best course of action was a counterattack, to avenge the deaths of billions, and stand and fight for whatever was left of their civilization. He sent a message into deep space, calling for all remaining Colonial ships to regroup at Ragnar Anchorage, an unmanned munitions depot hidden in the upper atmosphere of the gas giant Ragnar. Ragnar was ideal because it was well protected, and Galactica could rearm after being disarmed for her decommissioning. While there, Adama found that no Colonial warships had responded to the call to regroup. Instead, Galactica encountered a ragtag fleet of civilian vessels bearing around 50,000 survivors, including the former Secretary of Education and newly appointed President of the Twelve Colonies Laura Roslin.[10]

Roslin implored Adama to abandon his plan to fight the Cylons and instead lead the survivors to safety, out of the Colonial system. Initially, Adama believed this idea to be preposterous – after all, he was a military man, bred to fight and not to run. However, after some deliberation, he agreed, realizing that the survival of the human race was more important than the pursuit of vengeance in what would almost certainly be a suicidal counterattack against the Cylons; Galactica would only be one ship against an entire Cylon fleet. Galactica and her fleet jumped beyond the "red line" (the boundary beyond which FTL jump calculations become uncertain and therefore jumps become dangerous), never to return to the Twelve Colonies.[10]

Thus, Adama found himself on the run in uncharted deep space. In order to give his men and the people of the fleet some hope, Adama lied to them, saying that he knew where the thirteenth colony, Earth, was located, and that he would lead them all there to make a new home. Even though ex-wife, Carolanne, was presumed to have died in the Cylon attack, Adama still harbored feelings for her and continued to wear his wedding band and observe their wedding anniversary for a time.

After an incident on the Hangar deck that resulted in the deaths of several pilots, Adama became aware of the true details of his son Zak's death after Thrace let her affair with Zak cloud her judgment again by being too harsh on the replacement trainees. Adama was barely able to restrain himself upon learning of the cause of Zak's death from Thrace. Events following the revelation lead Adama and his surviving son Lee to commit a similar act of allowing feelings to cloud judgment after Thrace is shot down and stranded on an inhospitable planet. After Adama is compelled to abandon Thrace by President Roslin, Thrace miraculously rescues herself and returns to Galactica aboard a captured Cylon Raider. Adama forgives Thrace for her indiscretions concerning Zak. The incident also cements the father-son bond between William Adama and his surviving son. Lee questions how long his father would search for him were he missing, to which the elder Adama responds, "if it were you... we'd never leave."

Kobol's Last Gleaming Part 2 - Adama is shot

Adama is shot by Lieutenant Valerii.

Soon after Galactica and the Colonial fleet discover the lost planet Kobol, Adama is shot by "Boomer", a Cylon sleeper agent, which places him in mortal jeopardy. Although he survives this assassination attempt, the brush with death changes him somewhat: some say that his more emotional leanings are a post-traumatic reaction to the shooting, but Adama jokes to Roslin that he thinks that he is "just a wuss."

After Pegasus encounters the fleet, Adama comes into conflict with Rear Admiral Helena Cain, commander of Pegasus, over the treatment of two Galactica crew members, Karl Agathon and Galen Tyrol. Cain and Adama come to the brink of firing on each other. Each battlestar commander makes plans to have the other assassinated following the successful conclusion of a joint operation to destroy the Cylon Resurrection ship. Neither plan is carried out (both commanders decide not to give the kill order), although Cain is subsequently killed by the Cylon agent Gina Inviere.

With the death of Cain, Roslin promotes Adama to Rear Admiral. Adama is surprised and touched: by this point in his career, he had given up hope of attaining flag rank; he encourages Roslin, battling breast cancer, to remain hopeful of a recovery. There was also a brief, sweet kiss between the two, initiated by Adama, which Roslin smiles at afterwards.

New Caprica and the Second Exodus[]

After the discovery of New Caprica, Adama appears hesitant to establish a permanent settlement on the planet, but is over-ruled by the new President Gaius Baltar. In the months that follow, his attitude slowly softens, and he begins to allow military personnel to muster out and settle on New Caprica.

When the Cylons locate New Caprica after a year of no contact with the human race, Adama is forced reluctantly to flee with all the ships still in orbit. Two thousand civilians and the battlestars Galactica and Pegasus at half-strength. Undaunted, Adama sets about formulating a rescue plan for the humans trapped under Cylon rule. His unorthodox strategy (he even goes so far as to jump Galactica into the atmosphere of New Caprica) is successful, but not without loss. Against his father's orders, Lee arrives on Pegasus to join the battle and save Galactica, but left all of its fighters behind to guard the civilian fleet. Pegasus takes heavy damage, forcing the crew to abandon ship. Pegasus is destroyed upon collision with a basestar. Adama returns to the fleet as a hero.

Three years after the incident at the Armistice Line, Galactica recovers Lieutenant Daniel Novacek, the pilot of the recon vessel that Adama ordered shot down when in command of the Battlestar Valkyrie. Adama's guilt over the incident and suspicions that he may have provoked the Cylon attack on the Colonies lead him to tender his resignation from the Fleet: however, President Roslin refuses to accept his resignation. Moreover, in an attempt to improve fleet morale and reward Adama for his continual military service in ensuring the survival of the fleet, President Roslin awards Adama with a Medal of Distinction in recognition of his 45 years of service to the Colonial Fleet. Colonel Tigh is the one who saves Adama when Bulldog attacks the Admiral, seeking revenge for his capture, and this marks a turning point in the Adama-Tigh relationship: after the award ceremony, the two friends finally sit down to share a drink and talk about the events on New Caprica, and Ellen Tigh's death in particular.

Adama is initially supportive of the "ranks dropped" boxing competition held on Galactica with Colonel Tigh as referee, seeing it as a useful means of allowing the crew to vent their frustrations and prevent them growing into feuds and grudges. However, when he sees that some of the crew have taken to enjoying the competition over tending to their professional duties, he is reminded of how he himself softened during the year above New Caprica. He takes on Chief Petty Officer Galen Tyrol in the ring; although he is beaten by the younger man, his actions and words afterwards remind the crew of their solemn duty to guard the civilian fleet.

After the fleet's food-processing systems become contaminated the fleet prepares to make a hazardous journey through a highly radioactive stellar cluster in search of supplies, Tigh finally returns (a little self-consciously) to Galactica CIC. Although Adama does not join the applause for the Colonel, he cannot hide a small smile. After the stellar cluster has been negotiated, he visits Captain Louanne "Kat" Katraine on her deathbed after she receives a fatal dose of radiation guiding civilian ships through the cluster. He comforts her, telling her that her shady past life is irrelevant to him: he is interested only in her bravery and outstanding qualities as a leader, for which he (posthumously) returns her to the position of CAG.

Upon reaching the Algae planet in a highly unstable planetary system the Colonials begin harvesting operations. Galen Tyrol informs Roslin and Adama of his discovery of an ancient temple, The Temple of Five which holds some significance in the Colonial religion. Roslin believes according to scripture that an artifact The Eye of Jupiter is hidden somewhere within the Temple and would act as a Marker on the way to Earth. The fleet is soon confronted by four Cylon Base Stars and Adama orders all civilian ships to jump away. Taking up a defense posture Adama prepares to engage the incoming Cylons with several people still on the planet and the possibility of the Cylons retrieving information on the location of Earth. The incoming Cylons on the advice of Gaius Baltar do not come in firing instead send a delegation to negotiate with Roslin and Adama for the Eye. The brief negotiation leaves both sides in a stalemate, if the Cylons attack Galactica or attempt to land on the planet Adama would nuke the temple, if the Colonials attempt to take the Eye the Cylons would attack. The Cylons eventually attempt to land on the planet and take the temple. Adama in response arms Galactica's nuclear warheads and targets them on the temple, nearly making good on his threat. The Cylons recall all but one of their Heavy Raiders forcing Adama to back down. When the star in the planetary system begins to show sign of going supernova, Adama orders a rescue mission be launched to the planet. Retrieving all of her raptors, Galactica narrowly escapes the shock wave jumping back to her fleet.


After Adama starts considering not only an alliance with the Rebel Cylons, but to let them join the fleet. Lieutenant Felix Gaeta starts a mutiny against him with Tom Zarek who is captain of the prison ship Astral Queen starting a coup against Roslin and the rest of the government. Adama is initially unaware of the coup as Gaeta manages to hide it well, but when it becomes obvious that there is something wrong, Gaeta immediately arrests Adama who is nearly killed by an overzealous Marine but is saved by one of his crew who sacrifices his life for him. Adama promises no forgiveness for this mutiny and is taken away alongside Colonel Tigh. On the way Adama chats with the two Marines who are escorting him, one of whom is unsure about what he is doing, and overpowers them, killing one and taking the other prisoner. He tries to rescue the prisoners in the brig but its too well guarded and meets up with Lee and Kara who escaped and are working against the mutineers. They head to the Secondary Storage Airlock where Tyrol has promised a ride to a safe place for Adama, Tigh, Roslin and Baltar. There they meet up with a Raptor from the Cylon baseship who Tyrol apparently convinced to shelter them. Roslin and Baltar leave, but Adama decides to stay behind to cover their escape and try to retake the ship. Adama and Roslin, who recently entered a relationship with each other, share a kiss before Roslin and Baltar escape. Adama and Tigh try to hold off the approaching Marines but are knocked out by a stun grenade and recaptured. Tigh is taken to the brig while Gaeta (who is now in command after the mutiny and coup) tries to get Adama to get Roslin to surrender, but he sarcastically tells Gaeta that Gaeta is the Admiral now and he should tell Roslin that and make her laugh. Adama is later tried in an obviously rigged court-martial consisting of Gaeta as the people's representative, Tom Zarek as the judge and Romo Lampkin as his lawyer. He is tried for various crimes including treason, dereliction of duty (for abandoning the people on New Caprica) and aiding and abetting the enemy. Adama refuses to betray his beliefs and is heartbroken when he's told Tigh was killed trying to escape. Ultimately he is found guilty and sentenced to death by firing squad. Before he can be killed, however, he's rescued by Tigh, Lee, Athena, Caprica Six, Helo and Lieutenant Kelly who switched sides and told the others where he was. He is shocked but happy to see Tigh alive as the truth was Apollo and Starbuck rescued him and the others from the brig and no one was killed although Anders was seriously hurt. Adama prepares to take back his ship and asks Narcho and the firing squad for aid. The firing squad agrees, but Narcho refuses stating that despite respecting Adama he will not serve under someone who will help Cylons so Adama orders him tied up and marchs to CIC to retake it with his loyal men. Along the way they are joined by most of the crew and they reach CIC and retake it without firing a shot, arresting Gaeta and Zarek who are both there. Adama contacts a relieved Roslin on the baseship who thought he was dead and was about to start shooting Galactica and tells her and the Cylons to stand down. He later embraces her when she returns to Galactica. Adama has Gaeta and Zarek executed by firing squad for their actions, a firing squad he personally commands. Command of the Astral Queen was left undecided after Zarek's execution.

After the mutiny, Tyrol shows him the deteriorating condition of Galactica and proposes using Cylon technology to make repairs. Adama initially refuses, but ultimately agrees to it reluctantly but has trouble letting go when he learns that all that Tyrol can do is buy some more time. Roslin points out that Adama is having trouble with the fact that he might lose the two women he loves at the same time (Roslin and Galactica) and convinces him to abandon ship. During the preparations to abandon Galactica, it is stated that Adama will be the last man aboard, and fly the last Viper off the ship himself.

Rescue of Hera and finding a new home[]

Adama eventually commands Galactica on her final mission: an operation to rescue the half-human, half-cylon child Hera Agathon from The Colony. He calls for volunteers and is able to rally enough of the crew and civilians to execute the mission. Delivering a final speech before the attack, he reminds the crew that the old ship will not fail them if they do not fail her, and that she will bring them home if they succeed. Adama and Tigh command the operation from CIC, and defend their position from Cylon boarders until the intervention of Gaius Baltar allows them to broker a truce. Adama agrees to allow Cavil's Cylon faction access to the resurrection technology held by the Final Five in return for a promise to never again assault humanity. The truce is broken when, while uploading the resurrection technology to the Cylons, Galen Tyrol discovers that Tory Foster was responsible for his wife's death and breaks the link in order to kill Foster. During the resumed hostilities, Adama shields Laura Roslin from the gunfire while Galactica crew kills the Cavil faction Cylons present in the CIC. The Cylon colony is struck by a volley of nuclear warheads accidentally launched from a dead Raptor, and Adama orders Kara Thrace to jump the ship before Galactica is destroyed in the conflagration. Thrace uses the numerical sequence she created from the song All Along the Watchtower and Galactica jumps to the planet that will eventually be known as Earth, but sustains irreparable damage to her lateral support braces in the process.

A Raptor is sent to rendezvous with the Colonial fleet, which is then brought to the new planet. After surveying the primitive humans of their new home, Adama adopts a colonizing strategy proposed by his son Lee: the colonials abandon most of their technology and settle in widely separated locations on the planet. The emptied ships of the fleet, including Galactica, are piloted into the sun by the Cylon Samuel Anders, who had been plugged into the battlestar's computer systems. As he had planned earlier, William Adama is the last person to leave Galactica, launching aboard the Mk. II Viper with his call sign that had appeared in the original mini-series.

After bidding a tearful goodbye to his son Lee, and to (the avatar of) Kara Thrace, whom he'd considered a daughter, Adama takes the dying Laura Roslin on a Raptor flight over their new homeworld, searching for a spot to build the cabin they had talked about on New Caprica. Roslin dies during the flight, as foretold by the prophecy, and Adama tearfully places his wedding ring on her finger. In his final scene in the series, Adama is depicted sitting next to Roslin's grave, describing the progress he has made in building their cabin.

Personality and traits[]

William Adama is a highly effective military commander and pragmatic leader, with the ideal personality and traits found in successful leaders. He is methodical, formal and extremely objective in both his personal life and professional life as the admiral of the fleet.

His military prowess centers around being highly strategic, while rarely succumbing to emotion when making leadership decisions, with few rare exceptions when his strategic thinking is pitted against loved ones, specifically with his son, Lee, his pilot whom he refers to as his "daughter," Kara Thrace, high XO Saul Tigh, the president of the 12 colonies and his love interest, Laura Roslin, as well as other members of his command who he refers to as "family" on multiple occasions.

William Adama also has a very stoic personality, whereby his facial expressions and mannerisms rarely change, especially when under pressure, making him a highly capable leader when faced with difficult or seemingly impossible situations.

He is seasoned and capable when dealing with the various politics, both as commanding officer of his fleet and as a military leader when handling the press. He has a very stern voice and is capable of commanding a presence, notably while giving speeches or commands.

He is very realistic and pragmatic while faced with difficult situations, often able to remain calm while others around him panic. Furthermore, he rarely has ulterior motives, choosing to speak and act in a straight forward manner, which has helped him retain a highly respectable reputation among those under his command, as well political leaders and civilians.

He is very patient and while he expects a high level of results from everyone under his command, he is realistic and is open to giving second chances.

Like his methods in making sound military decisions, he relies on objectivity and absolutes as the foundation of his strategies. Naturally, this makes him a non-religious person, often stating religion to be "crap" and something for people "stupid enough to believe" in it. However, his views shift in favor of religion in later seasons, as his faith grows on many levels. Prior to the events of Season 3, he avoids taking "leaps of faith" and strictly relies on black-and-white methods to make important decisions, both in his military career and his personal life.

Prior to Season 3, William Adama has made it clear that he is an atheist, specifically in reference to the prophecies stated by Laura Roslin and her conquest to find Earth, referring to these prophecies as "religious crap." However, after the events surrounding the Arrow of Apollo and witnessing the instructions to Earth after discovering the tomb of the ancestors, his personal beliefs surrounding religion begin to shift.

His personal beliefs begin to shift in favor of religion after these events, and he continues to gain new perspectives on religion, prophecies and faith. Throughout the series, his increased beliefs in religion continue to grow in parallel with his growing personal and romantic relationship with Laura Roslin. Throughout the series, the closer he gets to Laura Roslin as both a friend and romantic partner, his attitudes surrounding religion shift dramatically, albeit slowly.

In the final season, religion, and by extension fate and destiny, play a major role in his decision to execute the final mission to rescue Hera Agathon from the Cylon home world - and through these course of events, and by fully submitting to himself to the ideas of religion, fate and destiny, ultimately allows mankind to find their new home, later renamed Earth.

By the end of the series, although not explicitly stating his newfound religious beliefs, it is assumed his attitude towards religion, fate and destiny are now completely changed in its favor.

William Adamas most defining characteristic is loyalty, which he has shown consistently to be one of his strongest and most important traits. He consistently tests people and their abilities by often judging their level of loyalty to themselves and their shipmates. Although he is regarded as highly patient, his patience can be broken when a character proves themselves to be disloyal or untrustworthy through their actions.

Although his strategic and military decisions change throughout the series, the importance he places on loyalty, of all forms, remains constant regardless rank or relationship. He often uses trust and loyalty as the pillar of his military thinking, and places this characteristic at the top of his list when attempting to understand or trust anyone in his life. Furthermore, his distrust on various topics, regardless of the opinion of others, has shown to be very important to his mindset. For example, his distrust in networked computer systems, regardless of the fact that every other battestar has deployed these technologies already, allowed Battlestar Galactica to survive the attacks on the 12 colonies, by avoiding the network virus to not affect his ship.

The ability of William Adama to trust or not trust certain people or systems can change depending on the situation. It is these decisions that have allowed Battlestar Galactica to survive in many no-win situations. For example, his decision to trust Sharon Valerii on many occasions was the sole determining factor that allowed the fleet to survive, despite his past experiences with her. His flexible thinking and growth on the topic of loyalty has proven to be an invaluable trait for William Adama and the survival of the fleet throughout their journey.

William Adama has a relatively soft-spoken voice. He rarely raises his voice and only does so for brief moments when necessary or when he loses control of his emotions. He is able to command an audience naturally due to his straight forward candor and manner of speaking. This makes him a natural commander and leader in the CIC.

William Adama has been shown to be incorruptible, placing an extremely high importance on his integrity, character and word. For these reasons, he generally refuses to manipulate others or hold ulterior motives, and also avoids people to deploy these tactics. Rather than manipulate or lie, he chooses to speak in a straight forward manner and prefers to speak to the matter at hand in the most direct way possible. He values his integrity and character, oftentimes refusing to deal with anyone who questions these characteristics, which he places high importance on both before and after the attack on the colonies. For example, he walked out of a highly lucrative job interview because he was asked various questions that attacked his integrity.

Another defining personality characteristic of William Adama is his ability to manage his emotions. Throughout the series, it is demonstrated that he has great control over his emotions, especially that of anger, which make him a highly effective leader. By keeping a calm attitude during times of great stress, it allows him to make strategic military decisions that help save the fleet consistently. A good example is his attitude towards the original version of Sharon Agathon aboard Galactica. The control over his emotions allowed him to use Sharon on many occasions to save the fleet from complete destruction, as well as rescue the fleet from New Caprica - all of which would not have been possible had he allowed certain emotions to cloud his judgement when it came time to use Sharon in military planning.

Unlike many other characters, he is rarely angry for an extended period of time, and seldom holds grudges. He is also able to hold back negative emotions when making military decisions, which has been proven very successful time and time again. Although not immune to all negative emotions, during such times, he is able to rebound from them quickly and rarely allows them to influence his decisions.

William Adama is rarely out of uniform, believing that formalities and structure to be paramount to the survival of the fleet. He commonly gives orders in formal tones and words, even to his son. Even at times of intense stress, when his son was in harms way, he has been shown to treat him similarly to other members of his squadron, almost never showing favoritism - strictly maintaining rank and treating those under his command in an extremely formal manner when addressing or interacting with them. Even with his later romantic partner Laura Roslin, he is shown to mostly call her by her formal title, again showing the importance he places on formalities and rank.

List of appearances[]

Episode Appearance Mentioned
Miniseries, Night I X
Miniseries, Night II X
Razor X
The Plan X


Further notes[]

  • The 2003 story bible established Adama as reaching the rank of Commander five years prior to the Fall of the Twelve Colonies.[11] The story bible is outdated, however, as it suggests all of this time was serving on Galactica, which is contradicted by Season 3 which establishes Adama only being assigned Galactica two years prior to the fall.


  1. Caprica, episode: "Apotheosis".
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome.
  3. Razor Flashbacks.
  4. Battlestar Galactica, episode: "Razor".
  5. 5.0 5.1 Battlestar Galactica, episode: "Scattered" (deleted scenes).
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Battlestar Galactica: The Miniseries, Night 1.
  7. Battlestar Galactica, episode: "Pegasus".
  8. Battlestar Galactica, episode: "Hero".
  9. 9.0 9.1 Battlestar Galactica, episode: "Act of Contrition".
  10. 10.0 10.1 Battlestar Galactica: The Miniseries, Night 2.
  11. Story Bible .pdf

External Links[]

Battlestar Galactica Personnel
Command Staff Aaron Kelly · Saul Tigh · William Adama
CIC Anastasia Dualla · Felix Gaeta · Louis Hoshi
Viper Pilots Brendan Costanza · Brent Baxton · "Carrot" · Donald Perry · Eammon Pike · Emmitt Jones · "Fireball" · "Flyboy" · George Birch · Jackson Spencer · Joe Palladino · Joseph Clark · Kara Thrace · Leland Adama · Louanne Katraine · Nora Farmer · Paolo McKay · "Stepchild" · Tucker Clellan
Raptor Crews Alex Quartararo · Cohen Baker · Dwight Saunders · Hamish McCall · Karl Agathon · Margaret Edmondson · Sharon Agathon · Sharon Valerii
Deck Hands Anthony Figurski · Brad Socinus · Calandra Henderson Tyrol · Diana Seelix · Galen Tyrol · Giana O'Neill · James Lyman · Leonard Prosna · Peter Laird · Tarn
Sick Bay Howard Kim · Layne Ishay · Sherman Cottle
Marines Bonnington · Brandy Harder · Collishaw · Hadrian · Omar Fisher · Scott Kelso · Terry Burrell · Twinam · Venner
Other Wallace · Davis