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The first Medal of Honor awarded to a Marine during World War II went to Capt. Elrod of VMF-211 for his actions in the defense of Wake Island. Capt. Elrod single handedly attacked a flight of 22 enemy aircraft, shooting down two attackers. Also making bombing and strafing runs on an enemy warship, he became the first to sink an enemy vessel. When all the squadron aircraft were destroyed by enemy fire, Capt. Elrod organized a unit of ground troops in a beach defense that repulsed repeated enemy attacks. He was mortally wounded in action while protecting his men who were carrying ammunition to a gun emplacement.An hour after LtCol. Raible, the Commanding Officer of VMA-211, landed his harrier following a combat sortie over the Helmand province, his squadron was under attack. Fifteen insurgents had penetrated the major Marine Corps aviation operating base, Camp Bastion. LtCol. Raible hopped in a vehicle and sped toward the flight line. Armed only with his pistol, he led a counterattack against the insurgents. After returning to organize more Marines, he grabbed a rifle and again headed toward the flight line to locate and kill the enemy. He was mortally wounded during his second counterattack.For more than 200 years, the steady performance of the Marine Corps has elevated it to the epitome of military excellence. It is an elite fighting force renowned for its success in combat, esprit de corps, and readiness. • More than anything else, Marines have fought and won because of their special commitment to the Marine Corps and to each other. • This is the foundation of our cohesion and combat effectiveness. Marines are warriors. There is little more sobering to a defender than knowing that somewhere, just over the horizon, lies a force of well- trained, well-equipped Marines capable of delivering a devastating blow at a point and time of their own choosing.Discipline is the foundation of being a warrior. The issue of discipline carries ethical implications. Rightness in personal conduct should not stem from fear of punishment but from a sense of obligation to maintain high standards: a sense of pride in who they are and the organization they belong to. • Good discipline leads to the highest order of conduct for the warrior and the unit. To develop and maintain the warrior spirit in a unit, the leader must focus on the mental, moral, and physical discipline of each Marine. Leaders who fail to foster the following foundations and focus only on technical
proficiency will foster low discipline, morale, and esprit de corps.Mental Discipline Mental discipline is developed through the study of the art of war and the profession of arms. • Professional military education • Battle case studies • Cultural studies • Marine Corps professional reading programMoral Discipline Moral discipline is accomplished through character development and the alignment of values.