Out of the three branches of Paradis Island’s military, the Survey Corps is the most underappreciated. These brave soldiers have become the Eldians’ primary defense against the Titans after the Fall of Wall Maria, and have played a pivotal role in not only discovering the truth behind the Titans but in ridding Paradis Island of all the Titans that had roamed its surface for years.
While all fans can appreciate the skill and valor displayed by members of the Survey Corps, there are just a few things about this honorable group that just don’t add up. Below are just ten that, while they don’t need to be rectified or explained at all, could probably increase the Survey Corps’ rate of success.
10 There Are No Requirements To Join
Unlike the Military Police, there are no requirements that cadets must meet to join the Survey Corps.
While this works in their favor, since many of those who join will serve as necessary fodder on the battlefield, the Survey Corps should at least ensure that new recruits have a certain level of proficiency with ODM gear and blades as well as the mental stability in order to ensure that no new recruit will become a liability out on the battlefield.
9 There’s No Incentive For Joining
Given how dangerous the Survey Corps is, it’s difficult to believe that so many cadets would willingly sign their lives away by joining. Unlike the Garrison, those joining the Survey Corps won’t be able to spend their days drinking atop the Walls, and unlike the Military Police, they won’t have the privilege of living in the comfort of the Wall Sheena.
If the Survey Corps is so dangerous, cadets joining should be promised something to make their sacrifice worthwhile, or at least have their families be taken care of should they be killed during an expedition.
8 They Tried To Establish Bases Outside The Walls
For some reason, the Survey Corps had attempted to establish bases in trees outside of the Walls, but these bases were quickly destroyed by Titans who learned to climb trees. From a practical standpoint, bases outside the Walls don’t make too much sense.
How could the Survey Corps truly build a dependable base in Titan territory when they had to worry about the constant Titan attacks from all sides during construction? And how would they be able to transport food and other supplies to this base on a regular basis? Every supply drop could easily be intercepted by Titans, causing the soldiers stationed in the actual base to perish from starvation before they’d be turned into Titan snacks themselves.
7 They’re Disliked By So Many People
As seen in the anime, the Military Police, as well as the wealthy, didn’t like the Survey Corps because they saw it as a waste of money due to its low success rate. Even before they became the biggest defense against the Titans after Wall Maria was breached, the Survey Corps’ constant expeditions were the only effort being made to discover the truth of their world.
Even before ODM gear became the standard tool for fighting Titans, Survey Corps members had firsthand experience of their behavior, which is already extremely valuable information in and of itself.
6 Their Horses Are So Easy To Wrangle During Chaotic Battles
When traveling outside the Walls, a soldier without his horse is pretty much a dead man walking. Survey Corps horses are clearly bred to be tough, able to traverse long distances without tiring easily, not to mention the fact that they’re able to outrun Titans, who have naturally larger strides. There have barely been instances where a soldier has lost their horse, and in many cases, even when they’re separated from their horses while engaging Titans, the animals don’t stray too far, and always come to their rider after being called. Although Titans don’t go for them, it’s hard to believe that they’re not spooked by these giants at all.
It shouldn’t be so easy for Survey Corps members to leap off of their horses, kill a few Titans, and then manage to land right back on their horse that was just waiting nearby the entire time. Just what have they been feeding these horses to make them so docile and capable at the same time?
5 How They Transport Captured Titans
In Attack On Titan, fans witnessed Hange develop a morbid affection for the two Titans she named Sonny and Bean, captured during the Battle of Trost District. It’s difficult to imagine that Survey Corps soldiers were able to not only pin these two Titans down but also transport them to Hange’s facilities where she could perform her research in peace.
At some point, the Survey Corps is probably just better off killing whatever Titans they manage to incapacitate instead of further putting themselves on the line to try and capture them alive.
4 How They Entered and Exited The Walls
The Survey Corps has gone on many expeditions, and before the appearance of the Colossal Titan, they always used the gate in Wall Maria separating Shiganshina from the Titan-filled territory of the outside world. Before The Fall showed just how dangerous this is, since leaving the gate open for just a few seconds could allow a Titan or two to slip in. This means that while the Survey Corps is leaving on their expeditions, it’s very possible for a Titan to take advantage of the opening and cause some real damage.
Viewers have seen them use lifts to get their horses and other supplies onto or over the walls. Surely the Survey Corps could’ve invested in larger, stronger lifts to get a mass amount of soldiers over the Wall so that they wouldn’t need to put the people of Shiganshina at risk with every expedition.
3 So Many People Joined After The Battle Of Shiganshina District
Viewers have seen the Survey Corps rack up dozens of casualties on every single one of their missions, but the biggest tragedy they’d ever seen was during the battle of Shiganshina District, where a Survey Corps force of almost 300 soldiers was reduced to 9 survivors after most were slain by the Beast Titan. The Survey Corps lost their Commander, as well as a huge chunk of new recruits.
This should’ve deterred people from joining, but they received a spike in membership afterward. Apparently, even soldiers from other branches of the military transferred to the Survey Corps despite knowing that the Beast Titan was alive and could pelt them with rocks just like he did their fallen Survey Corps predecessors.
2 The Most Skilled Soldiers Are So Young
Survey Corps members range from all ages, so it feels just a bit too convenient that their most skillful members making up the new Squad Levi are all so young. Surely there has to be older, more veteran members who were more deserving of these spots than mediocre soldiers like Connie and Sasha.
Of course, from a narrative standpoint, this made it easier to focus on the core characters, but in order to make it more believable, the cadets of the new Squad Levi could’ve had just a bit more experience killing Titans on the frontlines before being bestowed such an honor.
1 They Went On Expeditions Without “The Device”
Long before Angel Aaltonen perfected ODM gear, the Survey Corps went on expeditions on horseback with just their blades to aid them in battle. Not only did they not know the natural weaknesses of the Titans, but even if they did, they had no way to reach them. Their main method of fighting was to slice a Titan’s tendons to render it immobile before attempting an escape, but as seen in Before The Fall, dozens of lives were often lost in a fight against just one Titan.
It’s astonishing to think that they’d continue going on expeditions without a tool that would allow them to level the playing field and make up for the Titans’ height advantage, even if the device wasn’t the most efficient at first.
From entry requirements to tactics, here are 10 things about Attack on Titan's Survey Corps that just don't make sense.