Gentlemen, you are being sent in via halo-jump. Now, I realize that not all of you have had hands-on experience... And frankly, none of us have ever faced such a situation quite like this one before. But I would not be asking any one of you to take this leap if I did not have complete faith in your ability to succeed. Your courage will never be more needed than it is today.
— Admiral Stenz (Godzilla)
The commander of the USS Saratoga, Admiral Stenz took over operational authority from Monarch after the winged MUTO escaped Monarch's facility in Janjira. Stenz pursued the MUTO and Godzilla after he appeared to hunt the creature, and set into motion a presidentially-mandated plan to lure Godzilla, the MUTO, and his eight-legged mate out to sea with a nuclear warhead and destroy all three of them simultaneously. When this plan went awry, Stenz was forced to let Godzilla attempt to defeat both MUTOs in the heart of San Francisco while sending an elite team into the city to retrieve the armed warhead before it could go off. Five years later, he oversaw the deployment of the Oxygen Destroyer against Godzilla and King Ghidorah, which seriously wounded the former while leaving the latter unharmed.
Stenz is a well-meaning and reason-headed man concerned with minimizing civilian casualties, but he is also out of his depth in dealing with the Titans, and he struggles to a fault to comprehend the notion that some of the creatures like Godzilla and Mothra are mankind's allies rather than a mere threat.
Following the winged MUTO's escape from Monarch's facility in Janjira where they had been studying it for 15 years, Drs. Ishiro Serizawa and Vivienne Graham were brought aboard the USS Saratoga, commanded by Admiral Stenz. With the United States Navy taking over operational authority from Monarch, Stenz was put in charge of tracking and eliminating the MUTO before it could reach a populated area, a task made more difficult by the MUTO's ability to interfere with the Navy's electrical equipment. The Saratoga tracked the MUTO to Hawaii, where it had dredged ashore a Russian nuclear submarine and began eating its torpedoes. Stenz sent in a squad to locate the creature, but quickly lost contact with them once the MUTO noticed and attacked. A fighter jet flew overhead to attack the monster, but the MUTO released an electromagnetic pulse that knocked out the jet's power and caused it to crash. Stenz attempted to ask Serizawa about what other countermeasures they should attempt now, but Serizawa excused himself to witness Godzilla swim under the Saratoga from its flight deck. More jets were scrambled to hold off the MUTO as it came ashore in Honolulu and menaced the airport. However, Godzilla arrived at the airport and blocked their view of the MUTO as he attempted to fight it himself. The MUTO eventually fled with Godzilla in pursuit, leaving Stenz and the Navy to pick up the pieces.
In the meantime, Serizawa and Graham had been analyzing the MUTO's echolocation patterns, and determined that something had responded to its call. Serizawa believed Godzilla was not the one responding and was simply listening in, and he and Graham soon realized the response may have come from the dormant spore they had found next to the MUTO's hatched spore back in 1999. They informed Stenz that the dormant spore had been moved to the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository in Nevada, and a team was quickly sent there to locate it. When they arrived, they found that the spore had hatched and a larger eight-legged MUTO was now terrorizing Las Vegas. Serizawa and Graham determined that this was a female, and that both MUTOs likely aimed to reproduce. Stenz was contacted by the President of the United States, who ordered that both MUTOs along with Godzilla be lured out to sea with a thermonuclear warhead, which would be detonated and kill all three creatures far from a populated area. Stenz discussed the plan with a military analyst and prepared to set it in motion, but Serizawa pleaded with him not to go through with it. All three monsters fed on radiation, and the military had failed to kill Godzilla with nuclear weapons in the 1950's. Serizawa believed the military should allow Godzilla to restore balance by killing both MUTOs himself. Stenz acknowledged Serizawa's concerns but insisted his hands were tied and that he couldn't take the chance of leaving the situation in Godzilla's hands. Serizawa then showed Stenz the pocket watch he always carried with him. Stenz remarked that it was stopped, and Serizawa replied that it had stopped at the exact moment the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. Serizawa simply remarked that the watch belonged to his father and walked away, leaving Stenz speechless.
True to Serizawa's concern, the plan quickly went awry when the female MUTO ate two warheads being transported, while the third was captured by the male from San Francisco Bay after being armed. The male presented the warhead to the female in the heart of the city, and the two MUTOs quickly built a nest. With millions of lives placed in danger by the impending detonation, Stenz sent in an elite team including Lieutenant Ford Brody to recover the bomb before it could detonate. If they could not disarm it, they would simply send it as far out to sea as possible before it exploded. As the team prepared to enter the battleground, Stenz was forced to allow Godzilla to fight the MUTOs with the military's tactics proving ineffective. He worriedly asked Serizawa if he believed Godzilla stood a chance, with Serizawa replying that mankind arrogantly believed nature was in its control and not the other way around, finally remarking, "Let them fight."
Stenz was present in Washington D.C. during a Senate hearing regarding whether Monarch should fall under military jurisdiction. When Senator Williams mockingly asked Serizawa whether humanity should make Godzilla their pet, he was taken aback when the Senators laughed at Serizawa's response: "No. We would be his."
When King Ghidorah and Godzilla began fighting in Isla de Mara, Mexico, Stenz made contact with the crew of Monarch's flagship, the USS Argo. He informed them that the military had developed a prototype weapon supposedly able to destroy Titans: the Oxygen Destroyer. Despite Serizawa's pleas to have faith in Godzilla, Stenz was not swayed and informed him that the U.S. military was now in control of the situation and the weapon had already been launched, ready to kill everything within a two-mile radius, before warning the Argo to immediately evacuate from the area. The Oxygen Destroyer seemingly killed Godzilla but left King Ghidorah unharmed. The three-headed monster then emitted a call that summoned Titans from around the world to exterminate humanity under his leadership.
Stenz and his forces commandeered Monarch's underwater Castle Bravo base in Bermuda. Inside the base, he addressed the current crisis before Monarch. When he described the Titans' behavior as "erratic," Dr. Ilene Chen interjected that he was wrong. Dr. Mark Russell explained that they were demonstrating pack behavior, all responding to their alpha, Ghidorah. After Mothra revealed that Godzilla is still alive, Stenz allowed Monarch to take a submarine, the USS Scorpion, to revive him with a nuclear weapon.
- Godzilla: The Official Movie Novelization (2014)
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization (2019)
Stenz has the same role as he does in the film. However, he reveals to Serizawa that his father served aboard the USS Indianapolis when it was transporting parts for the atomic bomb which destroyed Hiroshima. He also mentions that he is a father.
Stenz's role is mostly unchanged, with one exception: the Argo loses contact with his submarine during the battle against King Ghidorah and Rodan in Washington D.C., and the last feed from the submarine shows it to be damaged and flooding, suggesting it was destroyed.
- While Stenz is consistently addressed as "Admiral", the two stars on his lapel in Godzilla (2014) indicate that he is a rear admiral. However, by Godzilla: King of the Monsters, he possesses the sleeve stripes of a full admiral.
- A death scene for Stenz was filmed for Godzilla: King of the Monsters but went unused.
- In the Japanese dubs for both of his film appearances, Admiral Stenz is voiced by Katsuhiko Sasaki, who previously acted in Godzilla vs. Megalon, Terror of Mechagodzilla, Godzilla vs. Biollante, and Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah.
This is a list of references for William Stenz. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: 
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