Major General William Crozier was born in 1855 and graduated first in his class at the United States Military Academy in 1876.
Between 1885 and 1906, he wrote several studies in the field of Ordnance engineering and was Chief of Ordnance from November 1901 until December 1917.
During his more than 40 years of service, he exerted a progressive influence on the fighting equipment of the Army. He was responsible for establishing a course of instruction at Sandy Hook Proving Ground, New Jersey, for the design and construction of ordnance. His course laid the foundation for the Ordnance school system.
He recognized the interdependence of the Ordnance Department with industry and was an advocate of industrial preparedness long before the term had acquired any real meaning to the general public.
As Chief of Ordnance, General Crozier organized the Department for emergency service in the field well before the United States entered World War I. During World War I, President Wilson appointed General Crozier a member of the Supreme War Council. With Sir Winston Churchill at Versailles, he developed the basis for the complete and effective pooling of all ordnance equipment for the allied armies.
General Crozier died on November 10, 1942.