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The Survey Corps (調査兵団 Chōsa Heidan?) is the branch of the Military most actively involved in direct Titan combat and outside exploration. Despite having little success and occasionally mocked by both citizens and other branches of the Military, they still symbolize the hope of mankind with their insignia being known as the "Wings of Freedom." They hope that someday, their efforts will change the world and they will be able to recover what has been taken away from humanity.
Recent developments in technology have renewed hopes that Titans will become a more manageable threat in the near future, increasing interest in Survey Corps operations and the branch itself.
The Survey Corps is entrusted with exploring the areas outside the Walls. Due to the large presence of Titans, they have not had much success in fighting against them and routinely do training and exploration drills to develop operations and tactics in Titan combat.
The Survey Corps is the smallest branch of the Military in terms of membership numbers. Stories of the high losses of life due to Titan activity often frighten most away from joining (or even causes members to request transfers to the Garrison.)
In the past, Survey Corps soldiers showed unprecedented levels of bravery and selflessness, with many joining with the prospect of discovering the world beyond the Walls. Due to the numerous deaths from Titans, however, the quality of soldiers would begin to degrade over time. Initially seeking soldiers with increased upper body strength, the Corps began to go in a different route and have recently begun recruiting soldiers of various sizes and builds.
Strategy and tactics
Due to the constant horrific losses suffered at the hands of Titans, the Survey Corps has been forced to fight smarter to achieve their goals. The Survey Corps use specially bred horses as one of the main resources to explore the unfamiliar area and participate in drills.
Before they were essentially disbanded, an inventor named Angel began working on a device that would be able to make it easier for the Survey Corps soldiers to effectively fight against Titans. Years later, a newer variation of the device was created and, after seeing it in action, plans were made to begin a training regimen that would teach newer generations of soldiers to use the equipment.