|“||We don't see any point of clinging in those who've died. We only know how to fight to keep more from dying||„|
|~ General Armstrong.|
Major General Olivier Mira Armstrong is a supporting protagonist in the anime/manga series Fullmetal Alchemist. She is Alex Louis Armstrong's older sister and the commander of charge of Briggs, the northern military border. She scoffs at the concept of "equivalent exchange" and believes "survival of the fittest" is the only law in life. Her subordinates are loyal, but if it ensured the survival of Briggs (or for the sake of the greater good), they are instructed to leave her to die if ever the need arose, and she wouldn't hold it against them.
She is voiced by Yoko Soumi in the Japanese version of the anime, and by Stephanie Young in the English version of the anime.
In keeping with her lineage as a natural-born Amestrian and scion of the long-standing Armstrong bloodline, Olivier bears the trademark family traits of blue eyes with long eyelashes and her waist-length blond hair is noticeably curled at the ends despite being otherwise relatively straight. Her lips are clearly defined and depicted as being rather full, making her one of only three characters in the series (the other two being Lust and Martel) with such a characteristic. Though slender, Olivier also sports a rather muscular build, which gives off a clear air of regality and command.
Olivier Armstrong is a strict woman with a fearsome and commanding presence. Harsh with her subordinates and peers and coldly merciless to her enemies, the deceptively beautiful woman's schadenfreude has earned her the nickname "Ice Queen" among the Briggs soldiers. Sharp-tongued and highly combative, Olivier is no stranger to furious chastisements and bursts of fiery violence, especially toward those who fail to live up to her high standards and staunch adherence to the "survival of the fittest" philosophy. As such, she has no tolerance at all for weakness or lack of willpower and fosters great distaste for the concept of "Equivalent Exchange", which she views as a mindset promoting easy handouts and unnecessary compromise. That being said, she is extremely perceptive and adaptive, able to coolly judge which courses of action will lead to the most beneficial results and capable of thinking and acting on the fly in response to unpredictable or mutable circumstances.
Skilled at reading people and conscious of even her own limitations, Major General Armstrong understands that she requires the support of her subordinates and peers in order to succeed and, though she understands that sacrifice is often a necessary part of her endeavors, never forgets the weight and impact that each person has on the world. As such, she takes her commanding role very seriously and has earned the undying loyalty of her men with her hands-on approach to leadership on and off the field of battle. While she cannot be said to have a "soft spot" for anyone in particular, Olivier is a deceptively caring and selfless individual, prone to taking great risks in order to protect the lives and well-being of those who have placed their trust in her.
Being the General of Briggs, Olivier has full command of the Fortress. She is very skilled with her family heirloom sword, which she uses unhesitatingly, as well as with firearms, from pistols to rocket-propelled grenade launchers, shooting with deadly accuracy. She is proficient enough in swordsmanship to easily defeat her brother Alex and hold her own against Sloth. Olivier does not falter in the face of battle, hardly flinching when facing tough opponents like Sloth. She is also, like the rest of the Armstrong family, very strong , and despite her slender appearance is able to easily throw Alex around. However, her inability to match Sloth's strength while Alex did means that Olivier merely outmatches Alex in sheer combat prowess, relying more on agility, speed and combat skill as opposed to brute strength. Above all she is an excellent leader, not faulting at the suggestion of danger as well as making soldiers who were sent to kill her to work under her.
Alex Louis Armstrong - Though their familial bond does not seem to be completely broken, Olivier views her younger brother Alex as a disgrace to the State Military and to the Armstrong family for his cowardly failings during the Ishval Civil War. As such, she treats him with great disdain - denouncing him venomously in public and tearing up a letter from him unread. Alex continues to look upon his sister with great respect and appears to foster a slight sibling rivalry with her, but in her presence is frequently the subject of physical and verbal abuse. However, as the story enters its final arc, Olivier reveals that she has faith in her brother's strength and is happy to fight alongside him against their common foe.
Miles - Miles is Major General Armstrong's assistant and most trusted adjutant, assisting her in everyday tasks like overseeing the maintenance of Fort Briggs as well as remaining by her side in open combat. Understanding that his unique perspective as an Amestrian citizen of multiple heritages is essential to her, Olivier values Miles' judgment and persuaded him to remain at Briggs under her command even while other Ishvalan soldiers were being summoned to Central City for imprisonment.
Buccaneer - Next to Miles, Captain Buccaneer is Armstrong's most valued soldier. Though he does not always understand her quite as well as Miles, Buccaneer has a remarkable grasp of the caring leader under the Ice Queen's unflappable demeanor. Loyal almost to a fault and immensely dependable, Buccaneer is frequently commissioned by the Major General to head the most dangerous and important tasks that Armstrong needs fulfilled. In the final arc, Armstrong was furious when she received the report confirming his death, but decided to press on and finish the mission for his sake. She later learned that it was with his sacrifice that Bradley was weakened down just enough for Scar to be able to kill him in the end.
Roy Mustang - Fostering a long-standing and heated rivalry with Mustang, Armstrong is almost as abusive to the Colonel as she is to her own brother and frequently attributes his quick rise through the ranks as indicative of Grumman's influence and Roy's weasley nature rather than any real merit. That being said, however, she does have a certain level of respect for his abilities and places more trust in his ability than she does in Alex's, even going so far as to consider Roy a more worthy inheritor of the Armstrong mansion than her little brother.
Elric brothers - Though she is initially given much cause to distrust them, Olivier is able to sense that Edward and Alphonse are worthy compatriots and does her best to support their endeavors after learning of the powerful evil to which they have opposed themselves. Taking them under her protection, she cooperates with their search in the North Area and conspires to keep them as far out of harm's way as possible.
Part in the Story
The Northern Wall of Briggs
Olivier is first introduced when the Elric brothers Edward and Alphonse are sent north with a letter of introduction from Alex to see his older sister. Once in the frigid, snowy plains of the Briggs Mountain range, they are attacked by Captain Buccaneer (believing them to be Drachman spies), and taken before the General herself. Olivier is quick to dismiss her brother's letter and informs the two brothers that she only judges people with her own eyes.
When the Homunculus Sloth accidentally infiltrates the fortress, Olivier uses this opportunity to test the Elrics' loyalty. Mounting a Briggs Tank, General Armstrong leads the defense against the intruding Homunculus, eventually freezing him solid with the harsh weather of the region to her advantage. Now working more closely with the Elrics—who she suspects might still be withholding information from her—Olivier is informed of the Nationwide Transmutation Circle, and Central'ssinister plans which also seem to threaten her northern soldiers. Fortunately, with the unexpected arrival of General Raven from Central High Command, Olivier decides to prod in deeper into the military's true intentions. Raven, taking the bait, attempts to seduce Armstrong with promises of an "immortal legion" at her command if only she pledged full allegiance to Central.
Infiltration of Central Command
With her true target now made clear and a determination to save her base and soldiers by her own hand, Olivier kills the corrupt General (who had also ordered her to set Sloth free earlier), and answers Führer King Bradley's personal summon. Once in Central City, she confronts him about his true nature and for her boldness is given Raven's seat at Central Command. Working as a sort of double-agent, Olivier acts the part of ruthless leader if only to obtain the finer secrets of the military for her advantage. In time, she is shown the "immortal" lesser Homunculi army by General Gardner and even comes face-to-face with Father himself.
Back at the Armstrong mansion, Olivier asks Philip Gargantos Armstrong to immediately retire and go on an extended vacation, and after defeating Alex in an inheritance brawl, she receives the estate. Alex then asks Olivier if she sent their family away from Amestris so they couldn't be made hostages because of the upcoming dangers, instead of giving a response Olivier just smiles and tells Alex to go away. While visiting to congratulate her, Colonel Roy Mustang jokingly comments on the large space of the house and how it could easily fit a battalion inside—a hidden tip she takes as the Briggs forces covertly move into the large mansion in preparation for the inevitable coming conflict.
The Promised Day
When Mustang begins his attack on the city, Olivier is located in Central Command, where she openly mocks the corrupted Generals and their misplaced sense of security. After shooting down Gardner, she takes on another General as a hostage, a move which ultimately proves useless when Sloth reappears and terminates the General in his attack. Thanking the Homunculus for preventing her from having to "dirty her blade with that scumbag's filthy blood", she fearlessly fights against Sloth and the lesser Homunculi hordes.
While slaughtering the immortal soldiers with ease, she finds herself to be less than a match for Sloth and ends up being caught by him after killing him several times. Sloth proceeds to use his superhuman strength to break the General's right arm, but the timely appearance of Alex saves her. While Alex battles Sloth, a squad of Central soldiers comes upon her, and threatens to kill her. However, she simply shouts at them to wake up and look around them. Convincing the soldiers to "Act on their own for once", they aid an injured Alex in the battle against Sloth. After Sloth incidentally re-sets Alex's previously dislocated shoulder, Izumi Curtis and her husband, arrive, and the four of them manage to kill Sloth.
As Father activates the Nationwide Transmutation Circle, Olivier's soul is ripped from her body and she is seen lying on the floor next to her brother. However, she is later brought back to life along with the rest of Amestrians.
After her resurrection, she located Lt. Riza Hawkeye and the chimeras, who were watching the battle against Father. When Greed arrived on the scene, he ordered her to remain behind, deeming her too injured to continue fighting. After arguing with him, she reluctantly turned her leader role to her brother. Afterwards, she spotted Bradley's body and realized that Buccaneer had been the one who managed to wear him down enough for Scar to defeat him.
After Father's final defeat, Olivier has the Briggs forces rescue all those who had been injured in the rubble of the heavily damaged Central Command Headquarters Building, using the opportunity to secretly rescue Scar. When Scar woke up later at a makeshift hospital, Olivier told him that the reason she saved him was for him to work together with Miles to save the Ishvalan people and religion (and also to make Mustang get into a bad position once he's found alive). Scar accepted this position, and when Olivier asked him what his real name was, he answered that since he's died twice he does not exist and thus doesn't need a name. He asked to be called whatever she liked.
Olivier's final appearance was in the collage of photos at the epilogue, where she is shown once again, annoyed by Alex.
- Being the aggressive and scary woman she is, Olivier is the only person Ed hasn't expressed rage toward for calling him short. In fact, while he acknowledges the remark, he reacts with fear.
- Like nearly all military personnel in the Fullmetal Alchemist series, the Armstrong family is named after a military vehicle, vessel or weapon, in this case, the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley (A.W.38 Whitley), a British bomber from early WWII
- Major General Armstrong's first name, Olivier (オリヴィエ Orivie), is actually a masculine name. It is the French form (pronounced o-lee-VYAY) of Oliver. Thus, in the french version of the manga, her name has been changed to Olivia.
- Her seiyuu Yoko Soumi also voiced Camilla from the video game Fullmetal Alchemist and the Broken Angel.
- Olivier ranked 8th place in the latest popularity poll, making her the third most popular female of the series (with Winry being second and Riza Hawkeye being first), also making her the most popular of the Armstrong family, Alex being the second.
- Major General Armstrong was the only female member of Central's High Command, as well as the highest-ranked woman depicted in the series.
- The type of sword she wields seems to be a "sabre" and has been passed through the Armstrong family for generations.