Ness is a member of the Scouting Legion and the leader of one of the units in the 57th expedition.
Ness first appears as an instructor and unit leader in the expedition mounted from the Karanese District into the Titan-infested lands outside Wall Rose. He encounters a deviant Titan in a field, where he is unable to make full use of his 3DMG gear. He manages to sever the Titan's ankles, causing it to fall over and allowing his squadmate Siss to destroy the nape of its neck. However,
they then encounter the Female Type Titan, who easily kills them both when they attempt to engage her.