Military - Government relations

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The relationship between the civilian government and the military leadership after the Fall of the Twelve Colonies, ranges from close co-operation to the declaration of martial law. It has been one of the most dynamic features of the series, forming a major story arc throughout Season One and the first half of Season Two. It is inseparable from the personal relationship between William Adama and Laura Roslin which has encapsulated much of the delicate balance of power between the two establishments.


Roslin and Adama clash almost immediately as they assume their new leadership roles, with Lee Adama deciding that the president's orders to initiate civilian rescues trump the Fleet commander's to regroup (TRS: "Miniseries, Night 1"). Later, as the Fleet assembles around Ragnar, Roslin meets with Adama and persuades him to flee Colonial space with the civilians rather than fight a war that has already been lost. Roslin and Adama come to an agreement to respect and not intervene in each other's spheres. Roslin alone knows that Adama does not have knowledge of the location of Earth, a secret she agrees to keep (TRS: "Miniseries, Night 2").

Early relations

Summary: The relationship appears to start well, but deteriorates over the course of Season One.

Roslin and Adama consult and agree over the decision to destroy Olympic Carrier (TRS: "33") and later when Roslin visits Galactica to congratulate her crew after the chase, Adama insists on full protocol out of respect for the office (TRS: "Water"). In the coming weeks the two meet often to discuss critical issues within the Fleet, Roslin is often seen on Galactica and Adama on Colonial One.

Roslin chastises Adama for his overcommitment to Kara Thrace's rescue mission (TRS: "You Can't Go Home Again"), Adama dismisses the President, telling her that it is a military matter. Adama eventually calls off the expensive rescue mission.

Another disagreement surfaces over what to do with a copy of Leoben Conoy captured on Gemenon Traveller (TRS: "Flesh and Bone"). Adama wants the Cylon destroyed, but Roslin insists he be interrogated. After Leoben causes chaos within the Fleet by lying that he has hidden a nuclear bomb Roslin orders his ejection from an airlock. Just before this occurs Leoben whispers in the President's ear "Adama's a Cylon." These words appear to place suspicions in Roslin's mind.

Roslin orders that Gaius Baltar's newly functional Cylon detector be used to test Adama (TRS: "Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down"). At the same time Adama's suspicions fall on Ellen Tigh, and the two clash over who should be tested first, with Baltar caught in the middle, constantly switching the samples.

Deposition of the President and Martial Law

Summary: Adama and Roslin's relationship strains to breaking point and martial law is imposed. This arrangement rapidly proves unworkable, particularly with Colonel Tigh at the helm.

Beginning with the Battle for the Tylium Asteroid Roslin becomes increasingly convinced of her role as the dying leader, as prophesied by Pythia. Adama is distinctly less religious and the president goes behind his back to recruit Starbuck for a mission to retrieve the Arrow of Apollo from the newly-discovered Kobol (TRS: "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part I"), revealing to Thrace that Adama does not truely know the location of Earth. The execution of this plan results in Adama's decision to depose the President (TRS: "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part II"). A squad of Marines is dispatched to Colonial One with Tigh and the younger Adama.

As Roslin is arrested Lee turns his weapon upon Tigh. Laura Roslin however decides to go peacefully, and her and Lee thrown in Galactica's brig. Adama does not impose martial law, but it appears that the executive branch of government no longer functions. Vice-President Baltar does not assume office.

With Adama shot and incapacitated Colonel Tigh assumes command, pledging his allegiance to the ailing Adama and devoting much of his effort and attention to the health of the Commander (TRS: "Scattered"). Tigh's brief stint in command is a troubled one, his drinking worsens, and his wife, who is far more pleased than the unhappy Saul about his assumption of command, starts advising him. The Quorum of Twelve demand access to the president, which Tigh initially refuses. However with Roslin in a delirious state due to chamalla withdrawal, upon advice from Ellen he allows the delegates to see "what has become of their precious president".

However Roslin (who has aquired chamalla) is composed and the plan backfires upon Tigh. Laura Roslin is defiant about her position and convinces the delegates of her divine mission. Frustrated Tigh dissolves the Quorum and imposes martial law (TRS: "Fragged").

The decision is markedly unpopular throughout the Fleet (TRS: "Resistance"). Riots ensue and some supplies to Galactica are suspended. An ill-planned and heavy handed retaliation by Tigh results in the "Gideon massacre," further lowering Tigh's standing. At the same time the Laura Roslin faction manages to smuggle the President out of the brig and off Galactica.

Splitting of the Fleet

Summary: Adama and Roslin mark the low point of miltary-government relations by splitting the fleet in two.

A week later Adama returns to duty, Tigh resumes duties as executive officer. Playing the "religious card," Roslin, in hiding, broadcasts an appeal for the Fleet to follow her and the path the Lords of Kobol have set out to Kobol. Believing none would be so foolish as to follow, Adama takes no action. Twenty-four ships carrying 18,000 people (a third of the Fleet) follow Astral Queen to Kobol. The Fleet is effectively divided in two, one part under Galactica's protection and influence, the other under Roslin's authority (TRS: "The Farm").


Summary: Adama chooses to re-unite the Fleet and reconciles with Roslin. The two unite with a common goal.

These remain separate until, partly from Dualla's influence, the Commander elects to reunite the Fleet (TRS: "Home, Part I"). He takes a Raptor to Roslin's likely location on the surface of Kobol (TRS: "Home, Part II"). The two leaders reconcile. When Roslin brings up the Caprica Resistance and whether abandoning the Colonies was the best idea, Commander Adama cuts her off, stating that Roslin saved his life, and that of his son. If he did not take her advice, they would all be dead. Upon opening the Tomb of Athena the two are united in a common, earnest, quest for Earth. Roslin is reinstated as President to warm applause from Adama. The two seek, together, to limit the damage done by the last few weeks and present a united image (TRS: "Final Cut").

Later, in a show of affection for their President, the constructors of the Blackbird name their craft "Laura". (TRS: "Flight of the Pheonix"). Military - Government relations seem to be at a high, with Adama and Roslin being close friends.


Summary: Roslin sides with Adama as Cain assumes control of the Fleet.

The arrival of Pegasus causes the military leadership to transfer to Admiral Cain. Roslin reacts to this revelation "like someone shot [her] dog". It quickly becomes apparent that Cain clearly considers military concerns of far greater importance than civilian ones, not even "returning the calls" of the President. Laura Roslin continues to confide in the commander (TRS: "Pegasus").

With the near outbreak of hostilities between the two battlestars Cain and Adama meet on the neutral ground of Colonial One. Roslin mediates between them. Once Cain has left Roslin warns Adama that the Admiral is a loose cannon, who must be killed in order to save the Fleet from annihilation. Adama is surprised at Roslin's candor, and is reluctant to consider the idea. Without the knowledge of the other, both Adama and Cain concoct similiar plans to dispense with each other at the end of the Battle of the Resurrection Ship (TRS: "Resurrection Ship, Part I"). In the end both come close, but neither executes their plan. Cain is killed instead by Gina Inviere and Adama assumes command of the Fleet. Roslin effectively promotes Adama to the rank of admiral and, in light of her severe illness, he gives her an affectionate kiss (TRS: "Resurrection Ship, Part II").


Roslin's cancer continues to weaken her, and a few weeks later it appears she is about to die. Adama appeals for the Fleet to pray for her health. He is short with her successor, "You're about to become the President of the Colonies, act like you can deal with it". Baltar however manages to cure the cancer with the unborn Hera's foetal blood and Roslin is quickly back to full strength (TRS: "Epiphanies").

The Election

Summary: The Military establishment conspire to steal the election for Roslin, but are unsuccessful.

Roslin contests re-election to the presidency with Gaius Baltar and it is apparent that she is the preferred candidate of the military with Adama wishing Roslin luck before one of the debates (TRS: "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part I"). At the count it becomes apparent that the election is turning against Roslin. A plot, authorized by the President and executed by Tory Foster, Tigh, Dualla and other members of Galactica's crew to fix the election comes into force. After the count, Gaeta uncovers the plot, and reports it to Adama, unaware of the conspiracy.

Adama confronts Roslin and she comes clean. Citing their moral obligation to obey the will of the electorate Adama tells the President that she will not steal the election. The two discuss whether or not to do it, considering it, but can't go through with it even though they know that letting Baltar get elected is the wrong choice. President Baltar is sworn in and immediately orders the settlement of New Caprica (TRS: "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II").

Baltar Administration

After the destruction of Cloud 9 by Gina Inviere. Adama presents a report to Baltar, recommending that internal security be tightened. Baltar refuses to listen: "I don't have to listen, I'm the President."

The orbital defense patrol seems to have little impact upon the government on the surface of New Caprica. In a ground-breaking ceremony Adama enjoys a drink, a psychoactive native plant and happy, relaxed conversation with the former president (TRS: "Unfinished Business").

Second Roslin Administration

Summary: The once turbulent relationship seems to have now stabilized and cooperation, rather than antagonism, is the norm.

After the second exodus, Tom Zarek becomes president but Adama makes it clear that he does not have the support of the military. Aware of this, Zarek arranges to have Roslin installed in the presidency (with Zarek taking the position of Vice President) (TRS: "Collaborators").

Relations continue to remain good between the two leaders, regularly meeting and planning their ongoing voyage to earth. Differences do surface when the opportunity to deliver a potentially genocidal blow to the Cylons presents itself, with Adama far more hesitant (TRS: "A Measure of Salvation"). However this disagreement, and a later clash over Adama's decision not to investigate the cause of the failure of the attack, are dealt with far more cordially than in Season One.

When a guilt-riven Adama offers his resignation, it is Roslin who tells the Admiral that he needs to do his job as a hero to the Fleet and presents Adama with a long-service medal (TRS: "Hero").

Post-Earth and Cylon Reconciliation

Summary: The relationship between the leaders of the government and military continue to be excellent and even become intimate on a personal level, but the relationship between Adama and the rest of the government, namely Zarek and the Quroum degenerate due to an alliance with Cylon Rebels.

Later relations between the civilian government and the military falter somewhat as Adama considers helping the Cylon Rebels. Roslin agrees with him, but the Quorum under Vice President Tom Zarek almost give her a vote of no confidence to dispose her, but it is averted by Roslin taking Natalie, the Six that acts as the rebels leader, to them. When Roslin is taken by the Cylons after the Hybrid freaks out and jumps, the government is plunged into some chaos. Knowing that the military under Adama would never support Zarek as President, Delegate Lee Adama convinces Zarek for an Interim President to be voted in which ends up being Lee Adama himself, averting any problems from that (TRS: "Guess What's Coming to Dinner?", "Sine Qua Non").

Problems come to a head when Adama decides to allow the Cylon Rebels to join the Fleet after the discovery of Earth. Roslin all but gives up the Presidency after the devastating discovery of Earth and Zarek more or less takes command (TRS: "Revelations," ""Sometimes a Great Notion]]"). When Adama orders Cylons to be allowed onto ships to install Cylon FTL drives on them, Zarek undermines him by having a Quorum vote be made that makes it so the ships Captains can refuse Cylons access to their ships, effectively undermining the Admiral's decision. Adama responds by having Marines force the ships to comply, but Zarek has Hitei Kan jump away in retaliation. Adama bluffs him into giving up the location, but it leads to a coup led by Zarek and Felix Gaeta (TRS: "A Disquiet Follows My Soul", "The Oath"). Although the two cooperate during the mutiny, the Quorum and deposed President Roslin (who manages to escape with the help of the Cylons and becomes the de facto commander of the baseship during the mutiny) continue to support Adama. Roslin uses her position as civilian leader of the fleet to aid Adama's attempts to regain control of the military and even uses the Cylon basestar she's on to try to help as well. Adama ultimately regains command and Roslin is restored to the Presidency with Zarek and Gaeta being executed leaving the Vice Presidency open. The Quorum is also murdered for their support of the Adama-Roslin administration rather than the one led by Gaeta and Zarek (TRS: "Blood on the Scales").