It's an understandable fault. The author wants to make their book realistic - one person doesn't equate to the cavalry and, in real life, the ‘cavalry’ doesn't operate as one being. Each individual acts individually so they must be described that way in order to accurately represent the real world.
Unfortunately this invariably makes for absolute confusion in the mind of the reader. The difference is that, in our day-to-day lives we have history with the characters; some of whom we may well have known for years therefore they aren't just names on a page. Even if we've only just encountered them (in real life), we've still seen, heard and even smelt them so, when they do something or something happens to them, we can quickly and easily relate to them as an individual.
Facing the quandary of 'do I have loads of characters whose identities confuse the heck out of the reader?' or 'do I sacrifice realism for ease of reading?' and you've really got to let the latter win. Go back to before the age of literacy and widely available reading material and what do you get? A small band of traveling players who'd go from town to town performing a few plays for the entertainment of the populace. Troupes were of a limited size, stages were small and stories had to be simple. Characters were frequently composites and always at least a bit larger than life.
|On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth ...|
Your role as a storyteller should be as unobtrusive as possible and your characters should never get in the way of that story. That way your readers will always want to stay until the final act.
Any Subject Books provides the full range of self-publishing services to independent authors. Unlike larger companies, they offer the 'personal touch', using human beings to edit and format scripts instead of throwing books to the nearest computer (to mangle).