Percy Fitzwallace

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Percy Fitzwallace
The West Wing character
Percy Fitzwallace.jpg
John Amos as Admiral Percy Fitzwallace
First appearance "A Proportional Response"
Last appearance "Gaza"
Created by Aaron Sorkin
Portrayed by John Amos
Nickname(s) Fitz, Admiral Sissy-Mary (Nancy McNally)
Gender Male
Occupation Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Seasons 1-5)
Spouse(s) Gail/Laura Fitzwallace (widow)
Percy Fitzwallace
Nickname(s) Fitz
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Navy
Years of service 1964-2003
Rank US Navy O10 infobox.svg Admiral
Commands held Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Gulf War

Admiral Percy "Fitz" Fitzwallace, played by John Amos, is a fictional character on the television series The West Wing. In the universe of the show, he is an Admiral in the United States Navy, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Character background[edit]

As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Fitzwallace is the highest-ranking officer in the US military as well as the most senior active-duty officer in the United States Navy. Fitzwallace wears the insignia of a Surface Warfare Officer, and as of 2002, had been in the military for 38 years. Fitzwallace is a veteran of the Vietnam War.

Character biography[edit]

Relationship with Bartlet[edit]

A number of episodes hint that the working relationship between President Josiah Bartlet (Martin Sheen) and Fitzwallace is initially strained; in a fifth-season flashback set before Bartlet and Fitzwallace have met, Bartlet blames Fitzwallace for starting a war in the Philippines and plans to immediately fire the Admiral upon becoming President.

In the second episode of season one, "Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc", Bartlet remarks to Captain Morris Tolliver (Ruben Santiago-Hudson), a naval doctor, that Fitzwallace and the other Joint Chiefs dislike him for his lack of military experience. Fitzwallace, however, later denies this, and throughout the course of the show is a close advisor to the President. At one point when Fitzwallace offers to take the brunt of public scrutiny over a particular subject, Bartlet denies it and says that he'll stand with Fitzwallace to take his share of the blame. A move that Fitzwallace seems to admire.

Possible Vice Presidential run[edit]

In the episode "Stirred", the White House Senior Staff suggests that Fitzwallace might be a feasible vice presidential candidate in the 2002 election, when the electoral math showed that Vice President John Hoynes (Tim Matheson) would not guarantee a win in Texas and Florida. They believe that Fitzwallace's status as a military man and defense hawk would be an electoral strength, along with the calculation that a black running mate would increase black turnout for the Democrats and win North Carolina, Louisiana and Georgia for Bartlet. However, the staff are unsure of Fitzwallace's party affiliation and whether he would accept. Ultimately, Bartlet rules that Hoynes had to remain the Vice President.

Like National Security Advisor Nancy McNally (Anna Deavere Smith), Fitzwallace vacillates between being hawkish and dovish on the exercise of military force, opposing a move against Iraq during what was perceived as an assassination attempt on Bartlet, but later proposing an invasion of Qumar in response to a terrorist threat. Fitz is the strongest proponent of assassinating Abdul ibn Shareef (Al No'mani), the Qumari Defence Minister, who is also a major terrorist financier.


Fitzwallace retires almost immediately after the resolution of the Zoey Bartlet (Elisabeth Moss) kidnap crisis at the beginning of season five and is replaced as chairman by General Nicholas Alexander (Terry O'Quinn).


At the end of season five, Fitz is killed by a roadside bomb during a diplomatic mission to Gaza.

Personal life[edit]

Fitzwallace has been married for 32 years as of "The Dogs of War". In that episode, his wife is referred to as Laura, but that is later retconned and she is renamed Gail, appearing in "Gaza" when Percy is killed.

See also[edit]