Surma has dark hair which he keeps shaved down close to his head and green eyes. He wears small, oval-shaped glasses and appears to be fairly tall. He can be seen wearing the standard Cadet Corps uniform.
Their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of the Jaegerists themselves; one of the Jaegerists named Floch informs all of the cadets 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 Jaegerists' demands to beat Keith 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 Jaeger. Surma attempts to halt the escaping prisoners until Jean Kirschtein 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 Jaeger, 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 cadets 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 Jaegerists. When Keith refuses, Surma promises to protect him but Keith orders that he and the other cadets not endanger themselves by opposing the Jaegerists.