General Douglas MacArthur once called Admiral "Bull" Halsey "America's greatest fighting admiral." That he was. His choice of brutal force over fancy tactics earned him the nickname "Bull" from the press, though he was "Bill" to his friends. He accomplished so much in his time including serving 43 years in the United States Navy, and from his 1904 Annapolis graduation to his retirement in 1947 was Admiral of the Fleet. (Encarta) He served in two wars, and is best known for his victories against the Japanese in the Second World War. "Hit hard, hit fast, hit often."(Chambers), was his motto and often said quote, and he certainly lived up to it. .
William F. Halsey was born on October 30th, 1882 in Elizabeth New Jersey, his hometown for many years of his life. He was the son of Captain William F. Halsey of the U.S Navy. His father, Captain William F. Halsey was a tough man who influenced his son. He was a heavy drinker, which brings Halsey Jr. to later quote, "I never trust a man who doesn't smoke or drink", (Potter, 26). As a Navy junior, he made his usual, typical round of schools prior to his appointment into the Naval academy. While attending the Naval academy, he pinned himself to class committees and athletics; which led to him becoming the president of the Athletic Association. Halsey graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1904. He was then assigned to the U.S.S Missouri, and later transferred to the U.S.S Don Juan de Austria. There, he was commissioned an Ensign after having completed his two years at sea. Later, in 1907, Halsey joined the U.S.S Kansas and completed the famous World Cruise of the Fleet in that battle ship, (Schroeder).
For almost the next 25 years of his life, practically all his sea duty with the Fleet was in destroyers, starting in 1909, with command of U.