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The Survey Crops, also known as the Recon Corps, Scouting Legion or Scout Regiment is the driving force of the plot and story as it is the branch of the Military most actively involved in Titan combat and human expansion. Despite having little to no success, they still symbolize "the hope of mankind", hoping that someday, their victory will change the world known to humanity, recovering what has been lost.
Literally only 9 soldiers in the Survey Corps have survived at the end: Hanji Zoë, Levi Ackerman, Eren Yeager, Mikasa Ackerman, Armin Arlert, Jean Kirstein, Connie Springer, Sasha Blouse, and Floch. The last survivors have been killed by Zeke Yeager and Bertholdt Hoover. All previous member died fighting against the Titans, the Titan Shifters, and the Royal Government of the Walls serving Rod Reiss. Keith Shadis and Historia Reiss also survived their time in the Survey Corps and later retired.
This division of the military is in charge of the exploration and the eventual reclamation of human territory from Titan-infested land. Prior to the breach of Wall Maria, they explored the land outside of the Wall, though never getting far due to the heavy casualties suffered by Titans.
Presently, they have been laying down supplies from the Wall Rose Trost District to Wall Maria Shiganshina District in preparation to seal the breach and reclaim Wall Maria.
A more recent unofficial duty has been Titan observation and research. Given the safer nature of exploring within Wall territory (since Titans can only enter Wall at one point), a wealth of information has been revealed such as their tolerance of pain, sunlight dependence, and intelligence.
Since the Scouting Legion is constantly on the front line, fighting Titans, its high fatality, low success rate (if at all) discourages most people from joining the legion. Thus, the legion suffers an all-time personnel shortage and the only soldiers who enter the Scouting Legion are dedicated to the cause of humanity usually at the cost of their own lives.
While most soldiers do not survive their first expedition, each successive expedition exponentially increases their chances of survival. This fact makes the veterans some of the most experienced soldiers in the entire military.
Aside from personnel shortage, disciplines of the soldiers are the best out of the three military branches.
Unfortunately, this branch is also the most pressed one because despite being the best out of the three military branches in terms of soldiers' and officers' quality, the bureaucrats, rich conservatives and many Military Police members dislike the Scouting Legion and view it as a waste of money and resources due to the Legion's lack of definite, decisive successes and high losses of lives. Only from the 'support' of the king does the Legion still remain intact from the greedy bureaucrats and hostile conservatives.
Statics & Tactics
Due to the constant horrific losses suffered at the hands of Titans, the Scouting Legion has been forced to fight smarter to achieve their goals.
Formation for Long Distance Enemy Detection
Developed by Commander Erwin Smith, the key to this formation is Titan avoidance. Because the Scouting Legion cannot afford to fight every Titan out in the open, the entire Legion is spread out over a large area, maximizing visibility. Upon encountering a Titan, a red flare indicates the danger and all soldiers who see the flare fire a red flare of their own, allowing Irvin to quickly be alerted to the Titan's presence. He will then fire a green flare in the desired direction to avoid this Titan with all members firing a green flare as well to allow the information to spread quickly.
However, there are occasionally deviant-type Titans that understand the basic principle of this formation and will atempt to break it apart by ignoring scouts on the perimeter and instead, attack the middle of the formation. In this case, a black flare indicates the danger and the Titan is disposed of as quickly as possible.
The entire formation is in the rough shape of a circle with Commander Irvin in front and scouts surrounding the outside of the circle. In the center of the circle are the supply wagons which keep all the necessary food, weapons, and other supplies for the expedition. Connecting the outer and center of the circle are relay members who keep fresh horses and help spread communication between everyone in the group.
This formation has lowered the Scouting Legion losses by 30%.
Although not a 'true' tactic in the sense of common battle doctrine, the Scouting Legion has been involved in two attempts at capture and are worthy of note given their similar procedures.
Scouting Legion Ambush follows this pattern:
- Target is lured into area where Scouting Legion forces have the maximum advantage. i.e. Leading target into a forest (where 3DMG gear is most effective) or underground (where Titans cannot move).
- Target is incapacitated.
- 3DMG soldiers surround target area and prevent escape.
- The 11th Commander †
- Keith Shadis (resigned)
- Erwin Smith †
- Keith Shadis (under the 11th commander; Squad Leader/Section Commander)
- Erwin Smith (under Keith Shadis; Squad Leader/Section Commander)
- Mike Zacharias (under Erwin Smith; Squad Leader/Section Commander) †
- Hanji Zoë (under Erwin Smith, succeeding Mike; Squad Leader/Section Commander)
- Levi Ackerman (under Hanji Zoë; current and Squad Captain)
Fourth Squad (Squad Hange, disbanded)
- Hanji Zoë (Squad Leader/Section Commander)
- Moblit Berner (Squad Executive Officer/Section Vice Captain, Hanji's assistant) †
- Keiji (Officer) †
- Goggles (Officer) †
- Nifa (Officer) †
- Lauda (Team Leader) †
- Rashad (Team Leader) †
- Black-haired soldier (Team Leader) †
Special Operations Squad (Squad Levi)
- Levi Ackerman (Squad Captain)
- Eld Jinn (Second-in-Command) †
- Gunther Schultz †
- Petra Ral †
- Oluo Bozado †
- Eren Yeager
- Historia Reiss (retired; current Queen of Paradis)
- Mikasa Ackerman
- Armin Arlert
- Jean Kirstein
- Connie Springer
- Sasha Blouse
Squad Mike (disbanded)
- Mike Zacharias (Squad Leader/Section Commander) †
- Nanaba †
- Thomas †
- Gelgar †
- Lynne †
- Henning †
- Dieter Ness †
- Darius Baer Walbrunn †
- Lauda †
- Rashad †
- Klaus †
- Black-haired soldier †
Other Squad Members
- Peer (directly under Erwin) †
- Moses Braun †
- Dieter (status unknown)
- Ilse Langnar †
- Jurgen †
- Luke Siss (Ness' assistant) †
- Ivan †
Squad Flagon (disbanded)
- Flagon Turret (Squad Leader) †
- Sayram †
- Levi Ackerman
- Farlan Church †
- Isabel Magnolia †
Veteran Klaus commanded the last recruits who joined after the crowning of Queen Historia:
- Klaus (Team Leader) †
- Marlo Freudenberg †
- Marlene †
- Dirk †
- Sandra †
- Gordon †
Members from disbanded squads
- Reiner Braun (right wing)
- Armin Arlert (from Squad Ness, right wing)
- Jean Kirschtein (right wing)
- Krista Lenz (right wing)
- Mikasa Ackerman (left wing)
- Bertolt Hoover (right wing)
- Connie Springer (left wing)
- Sasha Braus (left wing)
- Ymir (right wing)
- Other 11 104th Trainee Corps cadets †
Before the Fall members (NC)
- Solm Hume †
- Carlo Pikale
- Jorge Pikale (retired) †
- Dot Pixis (Highest-ranking Commander of the Southern Territory)
- Kitz Woermann (Captain)
- Hannes (Unit Captain) †
- Ian Dietrich (Team Leader) †
- Rico Brzenska (Team Leader)
- Mitabi Jarnach (Team Leader) †
- Anka Rheinberger
Mostly those who helped the Survey Corps during the uprising against the King of the Walls to support Historia:
- Darius Zackly (Supreme Commander-in-Chief of all military orders)
- Dot Pixis (bringing the Garrison against the Reiss power)
- Nile Dok (Commander of the normal Military Police Brigade, joined during late uprising)
- Keith Shadis (Military Instructor)
- Hitch Dreyse (Private MP)
- Minister/Pastor Nick †
- Dimo Reeves (Association Boss of Trost) †
- Flegel Reeves (Association Boss of Trost)
- Roy (journalist and director of Berg Newspapers)
- Peaure (journalist of Berg Newspapers)
- Reeves Company
- The entire population of Trost
- Military Police Brigade (Sometimes against Titans and always after the Uprising)
- All Titans (former archenemies)
Marley and most (if not all) other world nations
- Bertholdt Hoover, the Colossal Titan (Warrior and "Humanity's Greatest Enemy") †
- Reiner Braun, the Armored Titan (Warrior Deputy Chief)
- Zeke Yeager, the Beast Titan (Warrior Warchief)
- Annie Leonhart, the Female Titan (Warrior, comatose)
- Porco Galliard, the Jaw Titan (Warrior)
- Pieck, the Cart Titan (Warrior)
- Holder of the War Hammer Titan
- Willy Tybur †
- General Calvi †
- General Theo Magath
- Marley Military Government
The Government of the Walls
They act as secondary main antagonists and started acting during the Female Titan arc, mostly offscreen and using Nile Dok as a pawn to get Eren Yeager for Rod Reiss:
- Rod Reiss (the previous real King of the Walls) †
- Kenny Ackerman (Captain and Leader of the Anti-Personnel Control Squad) †
- The King of the Fritz royal family (imprisoned)
- Portly Royal Government minister (Noble, imprisoned)
- All previous corrupted powerful court members of the Government (all imprisoned)
- Traute Carven (Anti-Personnel Control Squad) †
- Nicholas Lovof (Noble)
- Nile Dok (formerly, Commander of the normal Military Police Brigade, defected the monarchy)
- Djel Sannes (First Interior Squad, imprisoned)
- Ralph (First Interior Squad, imprisoned)
- Duran (Anti-Personnel Control Squad) †
- First Interior Military Police soldier (formerly)
- Dimo Reeves (formerly, defected for Survey Corps) †
- Reeves Company (formerly, defected for Survey Corps)
- Roy (formerly, journalist and director of Berg Newspapers who supported censorship and propaganda for the government)
- Peaure (journalist of Berg Newspapers)
- Military Police Brigade (formerly)
- All the humanity within the Walls (formerly, manipulated by the government to believe that the Survey Corps were rebel murderers)