Major Miles is an Amestrian State Military Officer stationed at Fort Briggs as Major General Olivier Mira Armstrong's personal adjutant. Dutiful and intelligent, Miles is among Armstrong's most trusted soldiers and fulfills her orders efficiently and to the best of his ability. Though pragmatic and calculating, Miles is not without a heart; he holds a great deal of admiration for his queen, a soft spot in his heart for his comrades and the hope that people will be able to work together without prejudice in the near future.
Like most soldiers serving at Briggs, however, Miles hides a personal secret behind his snow-blindness goggles. Though he is the child of a multi-ethnic family, his maternal grandfather's Ishvalan heritage runs strongest in him, resulting in Miles' distinctive red eyes despite being only one-quarter Ishvalan.
Personality & Abilities
Miles, like all of the Briggs soldiers, is very loyal to General Armstrong. He is also compassionate towards his fellow soldiers and will do anything to ensure their safety. Originally uncertain of how he would be treated as an Ishvalan, Miles fully embraces his heritage and has made it his life's mission to change how the public views Ishval and his people.
Though seemingly cold at first toward the Elric brothers, he begins to accept them and treat them as Briggs soldiers, especially after Ed saves some people from one of Sloth's attacks.
Miles also has a strong sense of justice and will not hesitate to kill an enemy, though he was reluctant to kill Scar, signifying a sense of pride in his people. This sense of justice and pride for Ishval has made Miles act coldly towards Kimblee, for he knows that the alchemist is a deranged murderer responsible for the deaths of many Ishvalans. Kimblee's sadism is shown to both try Miles' patience as well as sicken him. This indicates that despite his position as a soldier that Miles has no tolerance for unnecessary cruelty, a sign of true soldier who only acts upon violence for the safety his fellow citizens.
Miles has a position second to that of General Armstrong, and as such, he takes command of Briggs should she be absent. He's also a well-disciplined and well-trained soldier, like other Briggs Bears.
Part in the Story
In 1908, when Führer King Bradley's issue of Order 3066 called for the assembly and confinement of all Ishvalan people serving in the Amestrian military at the start of the Ishval Civil War's final stage, Miles had just been assigned to Armstrong's command at Briggs. However, she neither confined Miles nor sent him away to the government's internment camps. When Miles, confused by Armstrong's decision and angered by the slaughter of his ancestors, confronted Armstrong as to why she kept him as her assistant, she told him that prejudice on the battlefield would only lead to casualties and that, as a pure-blooded Amestrian, she valued the measured judgment and unique perspective of someone like Miles, who had not only Ishvalan blood, but the blood of several other ethnicities in his veins. Armstrong urged Miles to work as part of Briggs' singular force to ensure everyone's survival and told him that, if he still felt resentment toward Amestrians for the murder of his grandfather and relatives, she would take him on in a one-on-one duel whenever he should so choose. After this exchange, Miles put his grievances aside and became committed to following Armstrong honorably and changing the general opinion of Ishvalans.
Alchemists at Briggs
Major Miles is first seen in Chapter 63, but first introduced to the story in Chapter 65, when Major General Armstrong asks him to show the newly arrived Elric brothers around the fort and give them a duty to perform during their stay. After hearing that all the soldiers stationed at Briggs have secrets they would rather not share, Edward asks Miles what his secret is. After a bit of goading from Ed, Miles breaks his silence and removes his goggles. At first, Miles speaks harshly to Edward as a part of the nation that destroyed the land of his ancestors, but after Edward talks back to him instead of taking pity, Miles chuckles and apologizes, giving his respect to Edward for treating him as an equal. The remainder of the tour goes smoothly as Ed and Miles discuss the Major General, Fort Briggs' credo of "survival of the fittest" and ethnic relations in Amestris. After a falling icicle narrowly misses killing Edward, Miles notes that luck is also a part of survival and gives the Elrics the task of clearing the halls of hanging icicles before returning to his normal duties besides the Major General.
While briefing Armstrong on the new reports of Solf J. Kimblee's presence in a field hospital at the base of the mountain and the orders from Central Command requesting that Briggs forces aid the Red Lotus Alchemist in any way possible, Miles responds to the sudden intruder alarm set off by the breaching of the bottom-most level of the fort by the Homunculus Sloth. After the soldiers use Briggs Tanks to force Sloth into a service elevator, Miles closes it and sends it to an upper level so that the Homunculus may be defeated. The next morning, Miles heads down to the hospital where Kimblee is recovering from his major wounds. He informs Red Lotus that he should focus on healing up while Briggs forces take over Kimblee's search for Scar in the north. But when Kimblee refuses to give up the assignment to Armstrong's men, claiming that the Ishvalan murderer is his prey, Miles removes his goggles and speaks up, refusing to let a known murderer like the Red Lotus Alchemist run free on Mount Briggs and promising to kill him if he makes any trouble. When Kimblee appears at Fort Briggs with Lieutenant General Raven within the day with his life-threatening injuries inexplicably healed, Miles is visibly surprised and begrudgingly accepts Lt. General Raven's request to show the Red Lotus around.
Over the next few days, Major Miles serves as Kimblee's escort around the fort while the State Alchemist observes General Raven's actions and gives periodic reports to Führer King Bradley by phone regarding the goings-on at Briggs. However, when General Armstrong puts into action her plan to assassinate Raven and dispose of his body, Miles is given the task of keeping the Red Lotus Alchemist busy. After one of Kimblee's frequent calls to Central City, Miles confronts him regarding his miraculous same-day recovery from the brink of death and his suspicious release from prison after his infamous murder of several superior officers in Ishval. Kimblee responds to both inquiries by stating that neither is any of the Major's business. Kimblee himself then inquires as to why Miles is so hostile with him, asking whether it's because he was among the State Alchemists who slaughtered his people in the Ishval Civil War and if what he's after is an apology or a bribe. Miles becomes visibly upset when Kimblee then jokingly suggests that what the Major really wants is to know in great detail how each of his kinsmen died, a request the Red Lotus and his macabre photographic memory are only happy to oblige. Miles demands angrily that Kimblee be silent and is then informed by a soldier that the eradication of General Raven has been completed, ending Miles' stalling mission as well. Miles then relays to Kimblee an erroneous message that Raven has gone missing, to which the State Alchemist responds that such a situation suits him just fine, as he has been given special dispensation by the Führer to act at his own discretion should anything happen to the Lt. General.
Kimblee requests that Miles have him driven down to the base of the mountain, where they pick up Winry Rockbell, who was summoned to the Northern Area by King Bradley based on Kimblee's Intel regarding the Elric brothers' presence. Miles expresses his concern to Armstrong about leaving Kimblee in charge of the search for Scar, but the General responds that they have no say in the matter, as he has documented dispensation from the Führer. However, she has another trick up her sleeve and orders Miles to relay to the Elric brothers that they are to let Kimblee deal with Scar, but secretly bring May Chang, the Alkahestry practitioner known to be traveling with the Ishvalan murderer, back to Briggs for interrogation. Miles takes command when the search team - which includes Kimblee, the Elrics, Winry, Kimblee's bodyguards and several Briggs soldiers - when they begin their search in the mining town of Baschool, promising to inform Kimblee immediately if Scar is found.
Escape from Baschool
After the group splits into several teams to search, Miles' squad is drawn by the sounds of battle to the Elric brothers after their defeat of Kimblee's chimera bodyguards (Jerso and Zampano) and their subsequent capture of Scar. Despite their having transformed into monsters, Miles is able to identify Jerso and Zampano as Kimblee's men by their blue uniforms and assures Edward and Alphonse that they needn't feign ignorance around Briggs' soldiers, as they are all allied against Central's conspiracy. He confronts the incapacitated Scar with his firearm drawn and declares that, although it pains him to punish one of his own people, he cannot let the murderer run free. Just before Miles calls Kimblee to inform him of Scar's capture, Scar asks Miles what he meant when he referred to him as a kinsman. Miles once again removes his glasses to reveal his eyes and, to Scar's inquiry as to why he fights for Amestris despite being Ishvalan, Miles responds that he endeavors to change people's perception of Ishvalans from within the country. Scar acknowledges that Miles' stance is far better than his own and expresses gratitude that someone like Miles is alive. Miles contacts the base camp and relays to Kimblee that they have apprehended their target, but before he can take the fugitive away, Dr. Tim Marcoh arrives on the scene with May Chang and asks them to leave Scar be. He explains to all present that he needs Scar in order to translate the notes he and May have been researching.
With all this new information gathered, Miles determines that they must find a way to escape from the approaching Kimblee without letting him know of Marcoh's presence, without handing Scar over to him, without letting him recapture Winry - who had stowed away inside Al's body -, without letting him know of the Elrics' involvement and while secretly transporting May Chang back to Briggs. He deduces that they must all stick together and travel as a group back to the fort, where everyone can hide out. Edward is against taking Scar along, but Miles reminds him that whatever the enemy is up to affects everyone and that they cannot afford to weaken their forces through hatred. He asks that Scar comply and the fugitive agrees, swearing on his Ishvalan blood that he will behave as Miles asks. Jerso and Zampano regain consciousness and Miles orders them killed on the spot, but Alphonse objects. After Al convinces the two to come along quietly, Miles consents to having them join the group, albeit while wearing restraints. As a blizzard picks up speed outside, Miles laments that they are not equipped to travel such harsh weather on foot, so the group decides to take the mining tunnels out. Miles offers to use his men to stall Kimblee for a few days while Scar, Winry, May, Marcoh, Yoki, Jerso and Zampano escape through the tunnel system to Briggs. However, there is still the matter of convincing Kimblee that Ed and Al are not involved in either Scar's or Winry's escape. Winry comes up with a plan to make Kimblee believe that Scar has taken her hostage and fled and Miles consents, planning to blame Kimblee for arriving too late and for failing to keep a sufficient watch on her.
They put the plan into motion and it goes off with barely a hitch, however, when they return to the base camp to wait out the blizzard, Miles receives word from the fort that Major General Armstrong has been summoned to Central City and that a new group from Central Command has taken headship of Briggs. Worried that the escaping group may walk right into the hands of the enemy, he sends Al - whose body is immune to the cold of the blizzard - off with a map and compass to warn the others of the danger. With all these additional dangers, Miles calls for the elimination of Kimblee and his two remaining bodyguards, Darius and Heinkel. He has Edward explain Kimblee's Alchemical abilities to him and is told that the Red Lotus also has a Philosopher's Stone in his possession. Miles orders his Briggs soldiers to prepare to take Kimblee out with snipers, but Edward is reluctant, wishing instead to disable, capture and interrogate him. Miles states that such a course of action is too dangerous and will likely yield them nothing. Ed wonders if the two bodyguards are being forced to follow Kimblee, but Miles interjects that it doesn't matter warning Ed that such softheartedness is not conducive to Briggs' 'survival of the fittest' philosophy and will get him killed one day. If Kimblee and his men let down their guard, Miles promises to kill them without hesitation. As he walks off to make preparations, Miles muses over the Elrics' naivety and states that, after they have lived a life of battle, they will understand that it is sometimes much harder to spare someone than to kill them. Still, he admits that he envies them in a way. After the search teams reenter Baschool and Miles' snipers make preparations, he sends Edward in to Kimblee's location so as to hold him in place until the hit can be performed. Unfortunately, Kimblee senses the danger and creates a snow cloud with his combat alchemy, zeroing out the snipers' visibility. Edward warns Miles not to enter the cloud, as Kimblee's men can track targets by scent, but before Miles can help, Ed and Kimblee's battle causes a huge explosion that collapses the mine shaft and takes them both underground. Miles returns to Briggs and orders a search for all missing persons, but even after ten days, nothing turns up. That is, of course, until Kimblee returns from beyond the northern border with the Drachman military in order to stain Briggs with the crest of blood and make it part of the Nationwide Transmutation Circle. However, even without the Major General, Briggs' forces are resoundingly victorious and before Kimblee can be captured, he triggers another explosion in order to cover his escape.
The Promised Day
Miles reappears in Chapter 83 when Izumi Curtis, sent by Van Hohenheim, infiltrates Briggs and relays to Miles and Captain Buccaneer information regarding The Promised Day in the following Spring. They, in turn, relay the message to Lt. General Grumman through 2nd Lt. Falman. When the day finally arrives for our heroes' counterstrike to go into action, Miles is assigned to a group of North area soldiers headed to a joint training session in East area with Lt. General Grumman's forces. On the way, Miles arranges for the military train to stop in the Elrics' hometown of Resembool due to apparent engine trouble. As he orders several Briggs soldiers off the train to restock their water supply, Winry is smuggled from her hiding place on the train to her grandmother's house in one of the large water jugs. From there, Miles and the others head to East Area HQ, where the Major meets up with Grumman. They begin to privately discuss the preparations being made for the Promised Day when Grumman reveals a bit of unexpected bad news: the Führer himself has arrived on the grounds to oversee the training session, watching for any sign of betrayal. Miles registers that he had anticipated an observer being sent from Central Command, with the Promised Day being so close, but is shocked that the Commander-in-Chief would come. Though the training goes off without a hitch, Miles is informed that Alphonse, who had also stowed away aboard the military train, has gone missing.
After the first phase of the plan goes into action and Führer Bradley goes missing, Miles asks Grumman if he will be attacking Central City with his eastern forces as originally planned. However, when Grumman changes his mind, opting instead to focus his forces on finding the body and confirming the death of King Bradley, leading Miles to believe that the old general is plotting on his own in order to seize control if Colonel Mustang and Major General Armstrong fail.
When the Nationwide Transmutation Circle is activated, he is shown falling victim to it along with some Briggs troops and Grumman. However, thanks to the efforts of Van Hohenheim, he was resurrected. After King Bradley's regime falls, he's reassigned by Major General Armstrong to work under the now Brigadier General Roy Mustang along with Scar to aid in the reconstruction of their ancestral land. His last appearance in the manga is in a photo of him and Scar years later in Ishval.
- The name Miles has many different meanings. In Latin, it means "soldier", possibly a reference to his career. In medieval Latin, the term meant "armed horseman" or "knight". A knight's duty was to serve his country and protect the king and/or the queen. This might be a reference to his relationship with General Armstrong and how he takes command of the fortress when she's gone.
- Additionally, Miles could have been named after Miles Aircraft Ltd, a UK manufacturer of light and military aircraft, fitting with the recurring theme of naming military personnel after military vehicles, vessels or weapons.
- Miles tells Edward and Alphonse that his "grandmother, father, and incidentally [my] wife," are not of Ishvalan blood.