Heavily influenced by peroxidepest17's "By the Sword", an amazing fic that deserves all the attention and praise it has received, and the 12 Monkeys OST 'Dreamers Awake'. I can never hope to compare but once the bug bit I couldn't resist doing the same for the Survey Corps.

20 Recommendations for Living and Surviving in the Survey Corps.

Composed by past commanders and captains of the Scouting Legion. Notes by Commander Erwin in [], awaiting final review and evaluation.

1. Bravery

It isn't something everyone's born with. It also doesn't mean facing Titans for the first, second, or even third time without shitting your pants. Bravery is going out into the field and watching your comrades get slaughtered and eaten. Bravery is going home, crying your eyes out, not be able to eat anything for three days, then go back out into the field because your country men need you to. Bravery isn't always what you're feeling. It's what you do and how you do it.

2. Horses

They will be your new best friend. At first you may not be too fond of them. They don't smell particularly well and they shit all over the place. However a lot of the time that horse is going to be the only thing between you and that Titan that's chasing you and you'll like them a hell of a lot better when it saves your ass from being snatched. Or when it's the only living thing to come back for you when everyone else has fled and left you behind. You may also come to appreciate them a bit better when one comes back exhausted and dehydrated because it stood by the corpse of its fallen rider for days on end waiting for them to get back up. After that you may just like them a bit better and want to give them all the sugar cubes in the world.

3. Other Divisions

The Wall Division – They're useful even if their symbol is pretty girly. They guard the wall and perform repairs when needed. If a wall ever does get breached they're the first line of defense. They'll also help us out in a pinch if we really need them too. So be nice to them

Military Police – They drink a lot. They also like yelling, card games, long naps, and getting caught in the rain. [This section is awaiting evaluation and further expansion…Believe this is Mike's handwriting]

4. Uniform

We understand (ladies and Levi) that white pants certainly aren't the best color when it comes to fighting Titans and is incredibly inconvenient when that time of the month comes. However these color choices were not made just because they look good. To explain the color choices of our current uniform it involves a little history.

White pants – White represents new beginnings. Before the 3D maneuver gear was invented no one anywhere had succeeded in killing a Titan. When the Titans vulnerability was finally discovered, the 3d maneuver gear was created in order to successfully reach that vulnerable spot and give the user the physical capability of quickly escaping. Humans finally had a way to fight back. It was a new beginning in that we were no longer helpless victims but survivors. Survivors that had hope for the first time. In addition white was chosen due to the sharp contrast of the leather straps needed to support the 3d maneuver gear. The white improves your safety as a damaged or broken strap can be easily seen. You don't want to be knee deep in Titan territory only to discover mid swing that one of your straps is broken. Yea and yellow is ugly too![Awaiting evaluation or possible strike from record…Believe this is Hanji's writing]

Green cloak – Green is the most calming color in the spectrum. It was chosen because when you're on the verge of losing it, it might help calm you just a little bit to look up and see that green cloak fluttering before you. When we're about to set off on a new mission outside the walls, and your boots are shaking so badly you're about to fall off your horse, look around you at the sea of green. It might help calm you just a little bit.

5. Hanji

Don't ask about her experiments. Just don't. Trust us. You'll only be kept up all night and its likely shit you already knew to begin with anyway.

6. Levi

Don't ever tell him he's short. Ever. Even if your 13 year old cousin or 106 year old grandma is taller than he is. Seriously, some things are better kept to yourself. Guy kicks like a freakin' horse.

7. Mike

If he tries to sniff you let him. You may think it's strange but it's just his way of shaking your hand and saying hi. If he starts growling however, that's a whole other story.

8. Time Off

We encourage you to do what makes you happy and we have a 'don't ask don't tell' policy. We won't ask how many whores you slept with, how many beers you drank, how many puppies you pet, how many children you held (whether they're your own or not) or how many questionable substances you put up your nose to get through the day so don't tell us. So long as you show up sober and coherent when you need to it's alright by us. Do what makes you happy because you might due the next day so make the most out of the time you do have.

9. Sex

We're aware it happens and we understand its human nature. It's the most basic instinct when needing comfort and to feel alive after coming so close to death. However we strongly, strongly, urge you to use caution. Bringing a child into this world who is likely going to end up an orphan is pretty damn selfish. And the Captain is going to kick both of your sorry horny asses all the way to the wall and back. [Last sentence awaiting evaluation…Believe this is Levi's handwriting]

10. Commands

It's well known that if a situation becomes dire enough you can go against a command from a superior or even ignore a direct command. However please keep in mind your superiors have lasted a lot longer in the field than you have. It's generally recommended and wise to listen to what they have to say. Listening to them will likely save not only your own ass but theirs as well.

11. Trust Your Instincts

Thinking on your feet is more than just an expression. It's a way of life. When it comes to Titans there is little known and even less understood so be prepared and expect the unexpected. We never have enough information and we never know all the details. You're more than likely not going to have more than a second to decide your next course of action so trust your instincts and think on your feet. Any hesitation on your part will probably land you right up inside a Titan's stomach and no one wants that.

12. Mistakes

Mistakes happen and we know everyone makes them. But when it comes to the Survey Corps, one mistake is likely going to mean your death and possibly plenty others. So don't make them.

13. Regrets

There is hardly ever a decision made that isn't followed by a shitload of regrets and. No matter what you do, every decision is going to cause regrets in some form or another. Just make sure the decision you make is the one that you'll regret the least.

14. Nightmares

Bad dreams are scars on your psyche. They might not hurt as much as they used to but they'll linger and sometimes they'll ache like an old wound acting up. If you wake in the middle of the night screaming and feel the inescapable need to be held it doesn't make you weak. Because the person sleeping in the bed next to yours is likely feeling the same thing you are. If your life is hell and your sleep nightmares, try to find comfort in each other instead.

15. Heart

A salute isn't enough. If your heart isn't in it don't do it. It's as simple as that.

16. Death

If that day does come, rest assured your death will not be in vain. Your spirit will stay with us and give us strength. Rest in peace knowing your sacrifice and everything you had fought for up until that point was not worthless, and you were a true benefit to mankind.

17. Funerals

We don't have them. Typically we won't have a body to bring back and anything we do recover is burnt. It's not a lack of sensitivity or respect. We simply prefer to remember the fallen as more than a pile of broken disjointed bones or half chewed meat. A body is only a body, an empty shell. If there's no beating heart it can offer then it isn't worth risking yourself over. Take solace in the fact their spirit now resides in you.

18. Mementos

When a comrade does fall in battle keep what you need to prove they were alive. Keep what you need to remember them by but don't drag them behind you like chains. Take what you need to remember and then move on. Because despite everything you're still alive and the dead should never be regarded as heavy burdens one needs to carry around with them.

19. Family

You may have a mother and a father. You may have a home to return to. You may have siblings and you may even have children. Some of you may have no living family at all. But please rest assured no matter where you came from or who you are, on this day you have gained a whole new family of brothers and sister.

20. Hope

Your humanity's hope for a brighter future. You are proof that humanity has not been broken, that we are not consumed by despair, that there is a light in the darkness. So when that day comes when you feel that everything you've done has been in vain and another step forward is impossible, remember the hope that resides in your heart and how you strove for it once upon a time. Then place one foot in front of the other.