We salute the Marine private who hacked James Mattis' email to impress a date

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Then-Defense Secretary James Mattis

How far would you go to win the affection of the one you love? Not as far as this Marine private, we wager.

According to former Defense Secretary James Mattis, a lovesick private once "hacked" into the then-1st Marine Division commander's email account in order to send a message in his name praising the young grunt's exploits.

"'By the way, Private First Class so-and-so is the greatest Marine in the entire division,'" the email read, Mattis told an audience at a Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce luncheon last week.

The anecdote was meant to illustrate the Marine Corps's culture of "initiative and aggressiveness," as the Tri-City Herald put it.

"Great initiative, not the best judgment. A private first class does not want to see a two-star general," Mattis added. "He was young enough to make a mistake like that, which would have been an ethical mistake up above."

The private's punishment, according to Mattis? He was assigned to the general's personal staff.

We salute you, unnamed private. As far as military courtships go, this is right up there with the Vermont Air National Guard commander who flew an F-16 to Washington D.C. for a booty call.