Omar Bradley

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It is time that we steered by the stars, not by the lights of each passing ship.

Omar Bradley (February 12, 1893April 8, 1981) was one of the main U.S. Army field commanders in North Africa and Europe during the World War II and a General of the United States Army. He was the last surviving five-star officer of the United States.


The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living.
If a man has character, everyone has confidence in him. Soldiers must have confidence in their leader.
  • It is time that we steered by the stars, not by the lights of each passing ship.
    • Statement (31 May 1948), quoted in An Inconvenient Truth : The Planetary Emergency Of Global Warming And What We Can Do About It (2006) by Al Gore
  • I am under no illusion that our present strategy of using means short of total war to achieve our ends and oppose communism is a guarantee that a world war will not be thrust upon us. But a policy of patience and determination without provoking a world war, while we improve our military power, is one which we believe we must continue to follow….
    Under present circumstances, we have recommended against enlarging the war from Korea to also include Red China. The course of action often described as a limited war with Red China would increase the risk we are taking by engaging too much of our power in an area that is not the critical strategic prize.
    Red China is not the powerful nation seeking to dominate the world. Frankly, in the opinion of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, this strategy would involve us in the wrong war, at the wrong place, at the wrong time, and with the wrong enemy.
    • Testimony before the Senate Committees on Armed Services and Foreign Relations (15 May 1951), published in Military Situation in the Far East, hearings, 82d Congress, 1st session, part 2 (1951), p. 732.
    • Variation: "… a wrong war at the wrong place and against a wrong enemy."
      • Military Situation, p. 753.
  • Dependability, integrity, the characteristic of never knowingly doing anything wrong, that you would never cheat anyone, that you would give everybody a fair deal. Character is a sort of an all-inclusive thing. If a man has character, everyone has confidence in him. Soldiers must have confidence in their leader.
    • On military character, in 19 Stars : A Study in Military Character and Leadership (1981) by Edgar F. Puryear Jr.
  • We are dealing with veterans, not procedures; with their problems, not ours.
    • While Administrator of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (1946), as quoted in Department of Veterans Affairs' Implementation of U.S. Court of Veterans Appeals Decisions : Hearing before the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Second Congress, second session, May 20, 1992 (1992) US GPO, p. 5.
  • Wars can be prevented just as surely as they can be provoked, and we who fail to prevent them must share the guilt for the dead.
    • As quoted in Peace Pilgrim: Her Life and Work in Her Own Words (1992) by Peace Pilgrim, p. 113.

Quotes about Bradley[edit]

  • The Bradley name gets heavy billing on a picture of [a] comrade that, while not caricature, is the likeness of a victorious, glory-seeking buffoonPatton in the flesh was an enigma. He so stays in the film. … Napoleon once said that the art of the general is not strategy but knowing how to mold human nature … Maybe that is all producer Frank McCarthy and Gen. Bradley, his chief advisor, are trying to say.

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