3 good decisions from each Survey Corps Commander in Attack on Titan (and 3 that were controversial)

A fan art stylization of the Survey Corps logo (Image via Reddit user u/EreNyn3)
A fan art stylization of the Survey Corps logo (Image via Reddit user u/EreNyn3)

Attack on Titan’s role of Survey Corps Commander has always been something of a morally ambiguous one. The very nature of the Survey Corps’ goals throughout Attack on Titan has been one which necessitates sacrifice, even in its most basic form.

Yet despite the blurred morality of the role, each of Attack on Titan’s Survey Corps Commanders has made both commendable and deplorable decisions. Even the most good-natured of the three seen on active duty throughout Attack on Titan have their moments of controversy.

Here are three good decisions from each Survey Corps Commander in Attack on Titan, and three more that were controversial.


Hange’s sacrifice and two other good decisions made by Attack on Titan’s Survey Corps Commanders

1) Erwin entrusting Titan Serum to Levi

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Considering Erwin essentially sacrificed himself during Attack on Titan’s Return to Shiganshina arc, giving Levi the Titan Serum was a fantastic decision. It ensured the Serum’s safety, as well as almost guaranteeing that one of the Nine Titans would be brought under their control at the battle’s end.

While most of Erwin’s decisions as Commander were somewhat controversial, this one had nearly no flaws behind it.


2) Hange staying behind

Hange as seen in the series' anime (Image via MAPPA Studios)
Hange as seen in the series' anime (Image via MAPPA Studios)

In the yet-to-be-animated final chapters of Attack on Titan, Hange decides to promote Armin to Survey Corps Commander and sacrifice herself to slow the Rumbling’s Colossal Titans. While she only kills a few, her noble sacrifice gives the Corps the time they need to launch the plane to Marley.

In the end, her sacrifice allowed her squad to stop the Rumbling and save the final 20% of the world’s population. While that number obviously could’ve been better, stopping the Rumbling in and of itself is a miracle. As a result, Hange’s sacrifice deserves universal praise.


3) Armin negotiations with Marleyan military

Armin's prefferance for peace is apparent throughout all of Attack on Titan (Image via MAPPA Studios)
Armin's prefferance for peace is apparent throughout all of Attack on Titan (Image via MAPPA Studios)

In the series’ final issue, current Survey Corps Commander Armin Arlert negotiates the safety of all Eldians with the Marleyan Military. The latter party wants to kill them all just to be sure the power of the Titans is gone, while the recently-promoted Commander argues that if they had Titan powers, they’d have transformed already.

This tactful argument pleases the military enough for them to lower their weapons and accept a truce. While the validity of this argument is a point of contention in the fanbase, it nevertheless remains one of Armin's best decisions as Commander.


Liberio assault and two other controversial decisions made by Attack on Titan’s Survey Corps Commanders

1) Erwin's Shiganshina sacrifice

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One of Erwin’s most controversial orders as Survey Corps Commander is the infamous Shiganshina sacrifice. Essentially, he asks the Survey Corps members to ride to their death, knowingly so, for the greater good of humanity’s fight for survival.

In the end, the soldiers did so, but the Survey Corps never recuperated the numbers they lost in that battle. While it won them the fight, it lost them the war in the sense that loyal and dedicated soldiers for the Corps were hard to come by from then on.


2) Hange approving Liberio assault

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Easily Hange’s most controversial decision as Survey Corps Commander is the approval of Eren’s assault on Liberio. The assault resulted in the death of many Eldians who lived in the internment zone, as well as an open declaration of war on Marley by Paradis.

The assault also resulted in the tragic loss of Sasha Blouse, easily the best marksman the Survey Corps ever had. While the assault did result in Eren gaining the Warhammer Titan, this ended up being a detrimental event in the long-term.


3) Armin’s choice to be the one to fight Eren

Enter captionArmin's true skills lie in strategizing, not combat (Image via MAPPA Studios)
Enter captionArmin's true skills lie in strategizing, not combat (Image via MAPPA Studios)

Finally, in one of Attack on Titan’s final fights, Armin elects to be the one to confront Eren, Titan-on-Titan. While a good decision in the sense that the Colossal Titan was the only one who could match the size of the Founding Titan, his role shouldn’t have been on the battlefield.

Armin’s best skill was always his intelligence and ability to strategize attacks. In the final moments of the Battle of Heaven and Earth, with former Nine Titan users running amok, his role should’ve been a strategic one, not on the front lines.


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