|All of us should want Eren Yeager to lead Eldia. We want a strong leader, one who's even willing to make cold-hearted decisions.|
|— Surma openly declares his support for the Yeagerists|
Surma has dark hair which he keeps shaved down close to his head. He wears small, oval-shaped glasses and appears to be fairly tall. He can be seen wearing the standard Training Corps uniform.
While assembling for training, Surma gets into a conversation with his fellow trainees about Keith Shadis's methods of teaching, alarming them with his staunch support of the Yeagerists's activities. Their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of the Yeagerists themselves; one of the Yeagerists named Floch informs all of the trainees assembled that they have arrived to recruit new members and arresting anyone who does not join them. Surma is among those who immediately agree to join, and although he is surprised by the Yeagerists's demands to beat Shadis to prove his loyalty, does not hesitate and goes through with it.
When Shiganshina District later falls under attack from Marleyan forces, the Anti-Marleyan Volunteers begin releasing military captives to assist in the defense of Eren Yeager. Surma attempts to halt the escaping prisoners until Jean Kirstein bluntly informs him of the danger they and Eren are in, and Surma yields as the rest of the prisoners are freed.
The military's headquarters soon comes under attack from Pure Titans which have been transformed by Zeke Yeager, and Surma is nearly devoured by one of the Titans. The trainees are saved by Keith, who rallies them to join him in fighting off the Titans. The trainees join Keith in leading the Titans in Shiganshina to the military's headquarters where they can be killed by the soldiers waiting for them.
After the battle Surma tries to convince Keith to flee from the military's headquarters to stay safe from the Yeagerists. When Keith refuses, Surma promises to protect him but Keith orders that he and the other trainees not endanger themselves by opposing the Yeagerists.