Human Expansion, Titan Research
The Scouting Legion (or "Recon Corps" as the anime dubs them) is the driving force of the plot and story as it is the branch of the Military most actively involved in Titan combat and human expansion. Despite having little to no success they still symbolize "the hope of mankind", hoping that someday their victory will change the world known to humanity, recovering what has been lost, and because of this their emblem has been dubbed as "The Wings of Freedom" multiple times.
DutyEditThis division of the militar the eventual reclamation of human territory from Titan-infested land. Prior to the breach of Wall Maria, they explored the land outside of the Wall, though never getting far due to the heavy casualties suffered by Titans.
A more recent unofficial duty has been Titan observation and research. Given the safer nature of exploring within Wall territory (since Titans can only enter Wall at one point), a wealth of information has been revealed such as their tolerance of pain, sunlight dependence, and intelligence.
Since the Scouting Legion is constantly on the front line, fighting Titans, high fatality, and low success rate (if at all) discourages most people from joining the legion. Thus, the legion suffers an all-time personnel shortage and the only soldiers who enter the Scouting Legion are dedicated to the cause of humanity usually at the cost of their own lives.
While most soldiers do not survive their first expedition, each successive expedition exponentially increases their chances of survival. This fact makes the veterans some of the most experienced soldiers in the entire military.
Aside from personnel shortage, disciplines of the soldiers are the best out of the three military branches.
Unfortunately, this branch is also the most pressed one because despite being the best out of the three military branches in terms of soldiers' and officers' quality, the bureaucrats, rich democrats and many Military Police members dislike the Scouting Legion and view it as a waste of money and resources due to the Legion's lack of definite, decisive successes, and high losses of lives. Only from the 'support' of the king does the Legion still remain intact from the greedy bureaucrats and hostile conservatives.
Due to the constant horrific losses suffered at the hands of Titans, the Scouting Legion has been forced to fight smarter to achieve their goals.
Formation for Long Distance Enemy DetectionEdit
Developed by Commander Erwin Smith, the key to this formation is Titan avoidance. Because the Scouting Legion cannot afford to fight every Titan out in the open, the entire Legion is spread out over a large area, maximizing visibility. Upon encountering a Titan, a red flare indicates the danger and all soldiers who see the flare fire a red flare of their own, allowing Erwin to quickly be alerted to the Titan's presence. He will then fire a green flare in the desired direction to avoid this Titan with all members firing a green flare as well to allow the information to spread quickly.
However, there are occasionally deviant-type Titans that understand the basic principle of this formation and will atempt to break it apart by ignoring scouts on the perimeter and instead, attack the middle of the formation. In this case, a black flare indicates the danger and the Titan is disposed of as quickly as possible.
The entire formation is in the rough shape of a circle with Commander Erwin in front and scouts surrounding the outside of the circle. In the center of the circle are the supply wagons which keep all the necessary food, weapons, and other supplies for the expedition. Connecting the outer and center of the circle are relay members who keep fresh horses and help spread communication between everyone in the group.
This formation has lowered the Scouting Legion's losses by 30%.
Although not a 'true' tactic in the sense of common battle doctrine, the Scouting Legion has been involved in two attempts at capture and are worthy of note given their similar procedures.
The Scouting Legion Ambush follows this pattern:
- The target is lured into an area where Scouting Legion forces have the maximum advantage. i.e. Leading target into a forest (where 3DMG equipment is most effective) or underground (where Titans cannot move).
- The target is incapacitated.
- 3DMG soldiers surround the target area and prevent escape.
- The Scouting Legion is the only branch to have a travel cloak with their emblem on it, in addition to the usual jacket.
- The Scouting Legion could be based off of any Military special forces division from Russian Spetznaz to United States Green Berets and Army Rangers. They have the least amounts of troops, a low success rate in training, and troops in these branches are usually more skilled, and often operate behind enemy lines.