The overall structure of Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan is pretty complex. And while we have recently written about the world of Attack on Titan, there is still a lot of narrative elements we have to explain. In this article, we are going to talk about the military of Attack on Titan, since that is one of the show’s most important narrative elements.
In this article, we are going to go through the basic military structure of the nations present in Attack on Titan. We’re going to go over the structure of each military and explain the major units you need to know about. The goal of this article is to bring you a single, unified guide to the military of Attack on Titan, so we’ll be explaining all the units and the regiments in one place.
How many regiments are there in Attack on Titan?
The answer to this question is not simple, as there are two major armies in the world of Attack on Titan. Now, there are more military units, but they aren’t that organized, nor did Isayama care enough about them to analyze them in great detail. The two most important military forces are the Eldian Army of Paradis Island and the Marleyan Army.
The Eldian Army of Paradis Island has three major regiments – the Survey Corps, the Garrison, and the Military Police Brigade. On top of that, they have the special Training Corps. As for the Marleyan Army, they have three major branches – the Infantry (which consist of the Panzer Unit and the Eldian Unit; the Warrior Unit is part of the latter), the Navy, and the Air Force. So, each major army has a total of three major branches or regiments.
The Military of Paradis Island
The Military, also known as the Armed Forces of Eldia, are the main militia of the inhabitants of Paradis Island, who were originally trained for the purpose of defending said territory from the Titans. It is a full-time, professional, and trained army to face the Titans. The army is divided into three squads: The Survey Corps; the Garrison; and the Military Police Brigade. We shall now explain each of these units.
The Survey Corps
The Survey Corps is one of the three Army Corps composing the Army of Paradis, with the Garrison and the Military Police Brigades. As its name suggests, it is a section specializing in investigations, patrols, and expeditions outside the Walls about the Titans, from their origin to the study of the possibilities of their extermination. It is therefore considered to be a suicidal unit since human beings are supposed to be “powerless” against the Titans, and an average of 30% of the workforce perish during operations.
Ever since the Fall of Shiganshina, the Survey Corpstalion has been dedicated to restoring the freedom human beings once lost during the Titan invasion and the destruction of Wall Maria. This is why their insignia represents two wings, called “wings of freedom”. Following the revelation in Eren’s basement, the Survey Corps turned their attention to the outside world and specifically to the Mahr people.
- Armin Arlelt replaced Hange Zoe as Major and Commander-in-Chief of the Survey Corps.
- Levi Ackerman is one of the Exploration Battalion squad leaders.
- Jean Kirschtein is a Commanding Officer of the Exploration Battalion
- Lima is an Exploration Battalion team leader
The Survey Corps is the smallest branch of the human army in terms of soldiers, with a maximum size of 300 soldiers. This already limited number is further reduced by constant losses through the various extramural expeditions. Erwin Smith was the Commanding Officer, with 4 Squad Leaders serving directly below him, a Senior Squad Leader, and 8 Master Corporals/Captains, each specializing in a specific area. The division also has 6 specialist medical officers, veterinary officers responsible for caring for their horses, and five officers who serve concurrently with team leaders. This structure leaves 270 regular soldiers, divided into 10 teams.
The Garrison is one of the three Military units composing the Army of Paradis, with the Survey Corps and the Military Police Brigade. As its name suggests, it is a section specializing in the protection of cities, especially districts, and the strengthening of Walls. Its objective is to ensure the internal protection of both material goods and human lives. After the eradication of the titans on the island of Paradis, the members of the Garrison join the Surve Corps.
- Garrison Commander: He commands this army corps from Mitras
- General: He assists the Commander-in-Chief
- Division Commander: He has under his command a Division’ of his district of assignment counting around 200 elements
- Captain: Under the orders of the Commander of his division, he manages a Guard composed of one or a few dozen elements
- Soldier: He is responsible for carrying out the orders of his superiors to the letter.
The Garrison is the largest of the 3 branches, with a total of 30,000 soldiers, training corps until they have completed their training and committed to a branch. The total number of soldiers is almost 1/3 of this total, or 10,000 soldiers. Their structure consists of regiments, brigades, and divisions. A regiment is the smallest unit and consists of 1000 soldiers.
A brigade is made up of between 2,000 and 3,000 soldiers, or 2-3 regiments. And finally, the largest unit is the division consisting of two brigades. Support brigades, as well as special units, were seen during the defense of the city of Trost District as well. There are also smaller teams, of a few members, which constitute the guard and are led by captains.
The Military Police Brigade
The Military Police Brigade is one of the three Corps of the Army of Paradise, along with the Garrison and the Survey Corps. As its name suggests, it is a section specializing in the protection of royal authorities (including the Sovereign himself). It is reserved for the ten best Cadets of each Training Corps unit, provided that they want to join it of course. Its objective is to control order within the Walls, and to calm the various interior riots; they play the role of the military police. However, the Military Police Brigade is corrupt and has a very bad reputation.
- Head of Special Brigades: Commander of the Brigades leading this corps from Mitras.
- Colonel: Vice-Commander of the Brigades also based in Mitras, he helps the Chief of the Special Brigades to manage affairs, in particular by liaising with the Division Commanders.
- Division Commander: He is responsible for the Division of the Districts to which he has been assigned, comprising around 200 agents.
- Corporal: He is the right arm of a Division Commander, carrying out the most important missions for him.
- Captain: Under the command of the Commander of his Division, he manages a brigade comprising one or two dozen agents.
- Base Officer: The one who, during missions, has to be made to be Team Leader of a few individuals strictly on the orders of the Captain of his Brigade.
- Soldier: He obeyed and applied to the letter the order given by a superior
The Military Police Brigade is the second of an army corps with 2,000 members in its ranks. Their forces are distributed among the major Districts, with 200 agents assigned per District. The Brigades are led in the name of the King himself.
Even if the strength of the classic Special Brigades is already large, it remains less powerful than a special division of the Brigades, the First Division which is directly under the orders of the real king without any intermediary from the Chief of the Special Brigades. Moreover, the king can choose to bring in whoever he wants, without going through a selection process as was the case for Kenny Ackerman who was a major figure.
The Training Corps
The Training Corps represents a particular section of the Army of Paradis. They are intended to train future soldiers. A brigade begins each year for a period of 3 years and is made up of 2 sections (North and South) based in different cities of the intramural territory of Paradis where the adolescents lived during this period.
Each promotion is indexed by a number in chronological order. The logo of the Training Brigades was the royal crest, as for the 3 Army Corps, accompanied by 2 crossed swords which symbolize the weapons of a soldier of Paradis (before they used firearms).
The Marleyan Army is the amalgamation of the country’s various military forces, the infantry, the navy, and the infamous Warriors unit. Marley’s main military force is made up of the powers of the Titans that it has in its possession. This has allowed it to maintain its dominance in various territories of the world, but it is also the reason why its weapons technology is obsolete compared to other countries. The total number of army members exceeds 30,000 soldiers.
The Panzer Unit is a squad of the Army of Marley; specially designated to equip the armor and armored turrets of the Cart Titan, they are also in charge of operating the machine guns of said turrets. The Panzer Unit saw action during the Marley-Mid East War, where they saw service operating the Freighter Titan’s machine gun turrets. In the last stage of the war, the unit fought in the capture of Fort Slava.
Once the armored train was destroyed, the unit was tasked with covering the Allied advance, destroying enemy machine-gun nests, and clearing the trenches surrounding the fort. By the end of the war, the unit appears to have formed strong bonds of camaraderie with the Cart Titan’s wielder, Pieck.
Sometime later, during the event organized by the Tybur Family, the Panzer Unit attended and met Pieck, who simulated a hug to inform the unit about his suspicions about the situation. Following his instructions, the unit hurries after her to discover that she had been caught in a trap along with Porco Galliard. When they manage to get both of them out of the hole, the attack of the Paradis forces had already begun.
The Eldian unit is the main infantry force in the army. The military forces are racially segregated and the Eldians make up the totality of the army units, whose command is merely Marleyan. As a form of identification, these soldiers are required to wear a different type of helmet than the conventional one, as well as the arm bracelet that Eldian civilians also wear.
Due to the anti-Eldian ideologies ingrained in Marley, these soldiers are used by the higher ranks to perform the most dangerous tasks on the battlefield. Just as in civilian life, they are discriminated against by their Marleyan colleagues.
There are exceptions: for example, Magath, unlike other commanders, is more willing to communicate with his Eldian subordinates and even allows them to hold celebrations whenever the troops achieve victory. On the other hand, Koslow openly expresses his contempt for these people and, whenever he can, looks for an opportunity to humiliate them.
Warriors (Warrior Unit)
The Warrior Unit is a subdivision of the Eldian Unit of the Marleyan Army. Its members receive Titan Power under the control of the Marley Empire and are in charge of Operation Paradis Island. When the unit was disbanded in 854, there was only one candidate in line among the aspiring Warriors to replace the Warriors, Gaby Braun.
Candidates constitute the main force of the Marleyan Warriors. These candidates can vary in age, ranging from young adults to some as young as twelve years old. New warriors entering training were between five and seven years old, young enough to be strongly susceptible to Marleyan propaganda. Pre-teen warriors can also be potential candidates to inherit the power of the Titans.
Of the hundreds of Warriors enlisted in the Marley army, only six are able to inherit the power of the Titans. Although these Warriors are not spared from deadly situations in combat or infiltration missions, efforts are made to ensure that these Warriors are not killed in action if possible. When inheriting a Titan, they keep their Titans for a 13-year “term” before passing them on to chosen inheritance candidates.
This term limit was not established by choice, but due to the “Curse of Ymir” which guarantees that any subject of Ymir who inherits the power of the Titans will die 13 years after receiving the power. Those who have inherited the power of the Titans are given red Eldian armbands as opposed to the common yellow bands. The families of these warriors also receive red stripes.
Out of the Warriors with the power of the Titans, whoever is seen with the most potential and skill receives the rank of Warchief. In the absence of Marleyan authority, such as during Operation Paradis Island, the Warchief acts as the commander and chief combat strategist and has the final say over the fate of the other warriors.
The warlord has the privilege and permission to participate in discussions and meetings between the highest leaders of Marley’s army. However, despite the authority assigned to the war chief, all warriors are under the control of a Marleyan commander. In the absence of the Warchief, the Warriors may choose another Chief among those present.
Marley’s navy is notably under a crisis of underdevelopment, which led to a disastrous result during the naval battles against the modern warships of the Mid-East Allied Forces. In the middle of the war, Marley managed to control the maritime territory at the cost of the loss of half of the fleet after four years of confrontation. the failure of the navy was pointed out by Magath as one of the causes that led Marley to a Pyrrhic victory.
After the war, it is noted that compared to earlier models, Marley’s battleships are much more modern and in appearance are similar to those of the Middle Eastern navy, suggesting that these ships were seized from the enemy after their defeat. During the war, Marley sent 32 scout ships to Paradis for the purpose of surveying the terrain for a future invasion, but none of them returned and what happened to them is unknown to the Marleyan government.
Relations between the army and the infantry corps appear to be very poor, with Udo describing them as a “cesspit of incompetence” and Magath blaming them for damaging Marley’s reputation given his dismal acts during the war.
Although it is unclear whether the Marley military has a separate air branch, aviation was used during the war and in the operation against Paradis Island. After the war ended, Marley hinted that it will focus on developing heavier-than-air aircraft that can rain bombs from above.
The Airborne Unit uses airships to transport Eldians who are injected with Zeke’s cerebrospinal fluid. They are then parachuted over the target area and transformed into pure titans with Zeke’s shout, which after the transformation lose their parachutes and drop into enemy territory one by one. The kinetic force destroys most of the bombarded area.
While a large percentage of Titans die due to falling, the remaining ones then proceed to destroy the surviving enemy forces. Titan power bearers serving Marley, such as the Armored Titan and the Beast Titan, can also be parachuted, albeit from a lower altitude, to continue their attack.