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When the UNSC went public with the SPARTAN-II program, the Office of Naval Intelligence feared that reports of Spartan losses would cause a crippling loss of morale throughout the UNSC. To prevent this, ONI Section Two issued a directive banning the application of KIA status to Spartan personnel. The protocol created and maintained the myth that Spartans never die and led to the common use of the phrase "Spartans never die."
- Though ONI Directive 930 was only intended for the SPARTAN-IIs, the tradition of never labeling Spartans as KIA eventually extended to the SPARTAN-IIIs as well. Just before his death, SPARTAN-II Kurt-051 lists the status of two deceased SPARTAN-IIIs as MIA, "adhering to the tradition of never listing a fallen Spartan as 'killed in action.'"