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The military (軍事 Gunji?) of Paradis Island is a full-time professional armed force trained to deal with the Titans within and beyond the Walls. It is divided into three branches: the Survey Corps, which explores outside human territory to hostile areas in a bid for expansion; the Garrison, which patrols and maintains the Walls, keeping Titans out and acting as the first to engage the Titans if the gate is destroyed; and the Military Police Brigade, the top-ranking soldiers who serve as the personal guards for the king and maintain order within the Walls. Additionally, the Training Corps oversees the education and training of the recruits in order to join one of the aforementioned branches. After the truth about the Titans is revealed to the public, the military changes their focus to defending Paradis Island from aggression from Marley and other nations.
The military is divided into four divisions, each of which has their own leader. Collectively, all of them are subordinate to the Commander-in-Chief.
Ranked among the most elite soldiers, they are tasked with attempting to reclaim territory that has been lost to the Titans. Despite being the most well trained, they often come under dispute from those within the Walls and are constantly under threat of being disbanded since they suffer high losses, and usually fail to supply results. The current commander is Armin Arlert.
The Military Police are in charge of keeping order inside the Walls and protecting the ruling monarch, currently Historia Reiss. Due to their important function as guardians of the most important humans, only the top 10 trainees from a graduating class are permitted to join them. Despite recruiting from only the best, they are shown to be corrupt and often incompetent due to the nature of their work inside the Walls, far away from Titans. The latest commander was Nile Dok until his death.
The Garrison is responsible for patrolling and protecting the Walls. They are set the task of evacuating citizens and dispatching Titans in the case of an emergency breach in the Walls. Falling intermediately between the Survey Corps and the Military Police, soldiers in the Garrison are seconded to the former in Titan combat and are less corrupt than the latter. The highest ranking officer of the southern territories was Dot Pixis until his death.
The Training Corps oversees the education and training of recruits. They assess the qualifications and eligibility of the trainees over the course of the training regime. Upon graduation, the trainees choose either of the three main branches to join and formally begin their careers in the military. A chief instructor of the Training Corps is Keith Shadis.
Though the army is full time and has protected the Walls for over 100 years, it is largely corrupt. The Military Police are thought to be the worst, as they actively avoid fighting the Titans, preferably staying inside the safety of the Walls. They are also responsible for the lack of technological advancement as well as numerous other issues inside the Walls. Under them is the Garrison, initially viewed to be lazy, irresponsible, and cowardly. However, after the breach in the Shiganshina District, their tactics and personnel have undergone amazing improvements. The Survey Corps is the least corrupt of the three, fighting only for the sake of humanity and reclaiming the land lost to the Titans.
Uniform and equipment
All members of the military, excluding the Training Corps instructors, wear similar uniforms consisting of a short, light brown jacket with the badge of the squad on both shoulders, on the front left pocket and on the center of the back, a light-colored shirt, a dark brown sash around the waist covering the hips, white pants, and dark brown knee-high leather boots. The Training Corps instructor uniforms differ slightly from the other branches, including a trench coat replacing the jacket of the other factions. The Survey Corps members often wear a heavy, green, hip-length hooded cloak with the Wings of Freedom on the back, usually when conducting missions outside of human territory. Trainees have been observed to wear the cloaks, albeit without any symbols when conducting marches in the rain. When on official business within the Walls soldiers wear a long coat with their branch insignia.
During the Raid on Liberio, the Survey Corps wears a predominately black uniform for their nighttime infiltration into Marley. Their branch insignia is worn on the left side of their chest over the heart, rather on the sleeve like their previous uniform.
The primary equipment of the military is the vertical maneuvering equipment, which is also their main weapon used in conjunction with two snap-off blades attached to the hand grips. However, the Military Police often use muskets and other firearms since they mostly deal with people and rarely with Titans.
- According to Isayama, a trend within the Walls is to badmouth the various military units.
- Although trainees are given the choice to join one branch of the military, they are able to leave their selected branch to join a different one. This is seen when both Floch Forster and Marlowe left their original branches (the Garrison and Military Police, respectively) and joined the Survey Corps.