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OtapediaSurvey Corps - Attack on Titan

The Survey Corps is the branch of the Military made of only the best soldiers and are often involved with close contact with Titans and expeditions beyond the wall. The Survey Corps has two important roles: they are in charge of expanding the path for large battalions for counter-offensive attacks in Titan-infested territory and they research Titans from new points of view by analyzing their biology and discovering new technologies and methods of fighting back. Only 10% of the 104th Training Corps enlist as a member of the Survey Corps (Attack on Titan manga: Chapter 21 (p. 31)).

They are notorious for their green hooded cloaks decorated with a “Wings of Freedom” coat of arms. Above their appearances, however, they represent hope and freedom for humanity through their bravery, honor, and sacrifice.

Since the Survey Corps has a high mortality rate and suffers many losses, it was said that joining the Survey Corps is a “suicide” mission that was a waste of taxpayers’ money before the breach of Wall Maria. They have roughly lost 90% of their soldiers in a span of 4 years. However, after the Walls were breached and protection from Titans increased as a result, the Survey Corps quickly became humanity’s greatest weapon, especially with Eren Jaeger among its arsenal.

In addition to skill in combat, enormous amounts of courage and a burning desire is a common trait shared among its members. The Survey Corps soldiers are arguably viewed as the best of the best due to especially having experience in the battlefield. Each expedition sharpens their skills and chances of survival, as not many are expected to survive past their first expedition.

The Survey Corps could also be considered the most dedicated to humanity and act as saviors that ask for virtually nothing in return. Not motivated by money, power, or greed, the soldiers in the Survey Corps are genuinely fighting for a brighter future for humanity.

In a note written by Claude Duvalier to Survey Corpsmen states:

“You’re all here for one reason or another. Maybe it’s a dream you’re chasing, a love for humanity, or maybe you just want revenge on the Titans that ate your family” [from AoT Guidebook p.232].


Erwin Smith was the 13th commander, but passed his rank on to Hange Zoe after his death.

The Survey Corps is organized into ten teams, each with a team leader. The team leaders then report to one of the four squad leaders, who are overseen by the commander.

A Survey Corps only has 300 soldiers ready for battle, which is a fairly small amount compared to other sections like the Garrison (10,000 soldiers) or the Military Police Brigade (2000 soldiers). One Corp has a commander, four squadron leaders, a senior team leader with eight team leaders under him/her, five payroll staff, six medics, five horse veterinarians, and 270 soldiers.

The key to Survey Corps’ strategy is its crescent-shaped formation with its commander at the front. Teams 8 and 10 act as logistics units that hold supplies with the formation around them. The commander of the Corps controls the entire unit like “one giant organism”, which requires a great amount of communication and trust to prevent the formation from breaking down. A V-shape or crane wing formation is used when on missions to find enemies.


Although damaging parts of the body of the Titan may slow it down, there is only one way to kill a Titan: cutting its the nape of its neck right below the head - one meter in length and ten centimeters in width.

Equipment and weapons

Each Survey Corps soldier is equipped with vertical maneuvering equipment and disposable blades. The maneuvering equipment is a device that allows a soldier to move in three dimensions. It comes with gas cylinders for propulsion and scabbards that contain extra disposable blades. They are located on each leg.

The disposable blades are made with ultrahard steel that is both tough and flexible. It can only be made by factory cities that have adequate blast furnaces. The “snappable” blades used against Titans are easily dulled by a Titan’s tough skin and require frequent changing. Once a blade is dulled, the blade used to cut a Titan’s skin can be easily snapped off and replaced with a sharpened edge.

For conventional mobility and traveling far distances, a soldier has two horses, meaning that one is left on reserve. This means that there are 600 horses in the Corps, since it is made up of approximately 300 soldiers.

Final Notes from Claude Duvalier:

“Soldiers, you are in a hopeless situation. But humanity is not so foolish or pathetic that it is willing to resign itself to this fate. We have the ability to kill the Titans. That is the undeniable truth. Soldiers, one day, you will die. So will I. No matter how meaningless our deaths may seem, though, these countless deaths tie us together [...] Until then we are eternal. Our knowledge and our experience will be passed down through the generations to forge new blades”.


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Attack on Titan