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The Warrior Unit (戦士隊 Senshi-tai?) is an organization of the Marley military composed entirely of volunteer Eldian youths, a subdivision of the Marleyan military's Eldian Unit. The first generation of Warriors contained seven candidates to inherit the seven Titans under Marley's control, though only six were actually granted the power of the Titans. Currently, there are at least three candidates to replace the current Warriors.
The Marley Warriors are expected to carry out the needs of their superiors without question or objection. From a young age, Eldians are raised to believe that their race is responsible for all the wrongdoings in the history of the world, given the fact that they are the only humans capable of transforming into Titans, the catalysts for millennia of death and chaos. With this stigma in mind, Eldian children are at times offered up to the Marley government to become Warriors so that the families of accepted children may be granted honorary Marleyan citizenship rather than subjugation within isolated internment zones, such as the one in Liberio.
Most Marley Warriors serve as cannon fodder on the battlefield, performing the riskiest and deadliest tasks and strategies while the other Marleyan soldiers remain out of harm's way. When the need arises, the Warrior who demonstrate the most exceptional performance on the battlefield is given the privilege of inheriting one of the seven Titans which Marley obtained during the Great Titan War. Due to the rarity of these individuals, efforts are taken to ensure that, if possible, these Warriors are not put into situations which could lead to the loss of one of Marley's Titans.
In recent years, the Marley Warriors with the power of the Titans have served as the main force of the Paradis Island Operation, a critical operation for Marley in which the Founding Titan must be taken from the royal family within the Walls. However, when the plan was deemed a failure after the battle of Shiganshina District, the remaining Warriors served instead as the primary means of land-based assault during the Marley Mid-East War.
Cadets make up the main force of the Marley Warriors. These cadets can vary in age, ranging from young adults to some as young as twelve years old. New Warriors entering training range in ages between five and seven, young enough to be strongly susceptible to Marleyan propaganda. Pre-adolescent Warriors may also be potential candidates for inheriting the power of the Titans.
Out of the many hundreds of Warriors enlisted in the Marleyan military, only six that are Subjects of Ymir at any given time are able to inherit the power of the Titans. While these Warriors are not spared from deadly situations in combat or infiltration missions, efforts are taken to ensure that these Warriors are not killed in action if possible. Upon inheriting a Titan, these Warriors keep their Titans for a 13-year "term" before they are passed down to a cadet chosen for the inheritance. This term limit was not established by choice, but due to the "Curse of Ymir" which ensures that any Subject of Ymir who inherits the power of the Titans will die 13 years after receiving the power.
Out of the Warriors with the power of the Titans, the one seen with the greatest potential and skill is given the rank of warchief. In the absence of Marleyan authority, such as during the Paradis Island Operation, the warchief acts as the commanding officer and head strategist in battle and has the final say over the fates of the other Warriors. The warchief is granted the privilege and permission of participating in discussions and meetings between the highest leaders of Marley's military. However, despite the authority assigned to the warchief, all Warriors (including the warchief) are under the control of a Marleyan commander. With the absence of both Marleyan influence and the warchief, the Warriors may instead choose another leader from among those present.
Having been raised with Marleyan propaganda from a young age, the Warriors follow the orders of their superiors without question. For some, this is done out of blind faith to Marley and an honest belief in the information they have been indoctrinated with. For others, they follow their superiors knowing that disobedience would result in death or worse. Regardless of reasoning, the Warriors abide by their sense of duty to the nation of Marley under all circumstances.
It appears that when outside of Marleyan influence, the Warriors follow a system of "might-makes-right" when settling disagreements. An example of this is the disagreement between Reiner Braun and Bertolt Hoover against Zeke Yeager over the fate of their fellow Warrior Annie Leonhart. While Reiner and Bertolt wanted to venture back into the Walls in order to rescue Annie, Zeke prioritized obtaining the Founding Titan from Eren Yeager, who would inevitably travel to Shiganshina District in search of the answers within their father's basement. The decision was made only after a brawl between Reiner's Armored Titan and Zeke's Beast Titan in which the latter brutally overpowered the former, receiving little to no injury in the process. With Zeke being the victor, his choice was the decided course of action.
- "Warrior" has occasionally been mistranslated as "soldier" in the official English release. The most notable example of this is in Chapter 31, in which Annie Leonhart's mentioning of being unable to become a "Warrior" is mistranslated as "soldier". However, this is likely due to the fact that the significance of the Warriors was unknown at the time of Volume 8's publication, with the first distinction between "soldier" and "Warrior" not being made until Chapter 39 in Volume 10.