William J. Ross was a Human male who served as a Starfleet officer in the mid- to late-24th Century. As an admiral, Ross took command of military operations during the Dominion War and led the Allied forces during the Battle of Cardassia, later presiding over the signing of the Treaty of Bajor, which ended the war.
In 2374, Ross was the head of Starfleet forces during the Dominion War and coordinated his battle plans from Starbase 375. When Captain Benjamin Sisko and his crew arrived at the starbase, Ross appointed him the lead in a mission to destroy a Dominion ketracel-white facility using a Jem'Hadar attack ship they had captured a year prior.
Later that year, following the success of the mission, Admiral Ross asked Sisko and his crew to report to the conference room for a full debriefing. Captain Bennett served as Ross' adjutant during the early days of the war. Following her promotion to command the Seventh Tactical Wing, Ross assigned Captain Sisko as his new adjutant, and gave command of the USS Defiant to Lieutenant Commander Jadzia Dax. On Sisko's advice, Ross later approved a plan in which the Defiant, under Dax's command, would attack the Dominion's new sensor array in the Argolis Cluster. The mission ultimately proved successful. Ross later ordered Sisko to review some tactical reports and present an opinion on the Bolian operation at 0600 the next morning.
Shortly thereafter, Ross was present during the briefing for Operation Return, Sisko's plan to retake Deep Space 9 from the Dominion. Ross supported the plan and allayed the concerns of Admiral Coburn that Earth would be left unprotected. Once everything was in place, Ross gave the go-ahead to Captain Sisko, wishing him good luck in the assault.
Towards the end of the year, Ross presented Sisko with the Christopher Pike Medal of Valor for his actions in retaking Deep Space 9 and forcing the Dominion into temporary retreat. Following the award ceremony, Ross had scheduled a briefing to discuss a new plan to strike the Dominion behind the lines. General Martok and Sisko observed the plan would need the help of Romulan forces, who until then, had also been on the defensive, protecting their territory. Martok, optimistic of their chances, believed that in just a year's time, all three of them would be drinking blood wine in the halls of the Cardassian Central Command, following their victory over the Dominion. During a meeting with Romulan Senator Letant, Ross attempted to convince him to join the fight, explaining the Dominion would continue to send ships at them one after another. Letant was ultimately swayed and committed his forces to the assault. Ross later ordered Sisko to take the lead in the operation, which was to become known as the First Battle of Chin'toka.
In early 2375, Ross again visited Deep Space 9 to inform Colonel Kira Nerys, who was temporarily in command, that Romulan Senator Kimara Cretak and her delegation would be establishing a presence on the station for the duration of the war.
After it was discovered that the Romulans had established plasma torpedo launchers on the Bajoran moon Derna, Ross at first refused to get involved, as he felt it could destroy the alliance they had established. However, when Colonel Kira set up a blockade of the moon in protest, he realized her resolve and told Senator Cretak that if she didn't remove the weapons, he would.
Later that year, Admiral Ross aided the covert Federation organization Section 31 by helping their agents infiltrate the first Federation-Romulan conference on Romulus, in order to place a mole named Koval at the highest levels of the Romulan government. Doctor Julian Bashir, who had also attended the conference, was deceived by Ross, in a formidable plot to deliver Senator Cretak into the hands of the Tal Shiar in exchange for Koval's continued loyalty to the Federation-Romulan alliance. Cretak had been in consideration for a seat on the Romulan Continuing Committee, just like Koval; but when she was arrested by the Tal Shiar based on a scheme perpetrated by Section 31 and Ross, the seat fell to Koval, insuring his loyalty to the Federation.
When he found out, Bashir was furious and confronted Ross. Going off-record, Ross defended his actions of setting up an innocent woman by stating that he had no choice. He saw Cretak as a patriot who would not have had any remorse delivering the Federation into the hands of the Dominion and striking a separate deal with them if it served the Romulan Empire. He admitted he disliked doing what he did. However, he also disliked ordering young women and men to die and felt this was the best way to maintain the alliance. In justifying his actions, Ross quoted Cicero's famous line "Inter arma enim silent leges", translated as "In times of war, laws fall silent."
In late 2375, Admiral Ross met with Benjamin Sisko and ordered him to take the USS Defiant to the Chin'toka system, where Breen forces had broken through the lines in two places. During the engagement, which became known as the Second Battle of Chin'toka, the Defiant was destroyed and the system was lost to Dominion forces.
Admiral Ross later returned to Deep Space 9 to discuss the Breen energy dampening weapon and Legate Damar's newly formed resistance movement. Following this, Ross met with Sisko, Martok, and Romulan General Velal to discuss the Dominion's retreat into Cardassian space. During discussions, Ross agreed with both Sisko and Martok in that to leave Dominion forces to rebuild would be a mistake, and that a major offensive on Cardassia Prime should be launched.
On Stardate 52861.5 Admiral Ross appointed Captain Talloc Hagen to Commanding Officer aboard the USS Olympia, the Captain having previously served as part of his staff as a Logistics and Planning Officer.
Later known as the Battle of Cardassia, Ross personally participated in the assault, taking command of the Starfleet element aboard a Federation starship. During the battle, he maintained a constant communications link with Sisko and Martok, later ordering Sisko to help the Romulans, who had been hit badly, while he and Martok hit the center of Dominion lines.
When the Cardassian forces switched sides against the Dominion, Ross initially suggested they keep the Dominion bottled up at Cardassia Prime. After objections from both Martok and Sisko, he later changed his mind and ordered all forces to press on in a three-pronged attack, eventually defeating Dominion forces and taking Cardassia Prime.
"Four hundred years ago, a victorious general spoke the following words at the end of another costly war. 'Today the guns are silent. A great tragedy has ended. We have known the bitterness of defeat and the exultation of triumph. From both we have learned there can be no going back. We must move forward to preserve in peace what we've won in war."
- - William Ross, quoting Douglas MacArthur at the signing of the Dominion treaty