Lei Feng (雷锋) was a model of wholeheartedly serving the people. He was born into a poor peasant family in Wangcheng County, Hunan Province, in 1940 and was orphaned at the age of seven.
Lei Feng joined the army in January 1960 and was admitted to full membership of the Communist Party in November 1960. He was determined to serve the people wholeheartedly and unswervingly loyal to the Party, the people, China and socialism. He studied hard to enhance his ability to serve the people, and loved his work. Starting as an army driver he was quickly promoted to squad leader and under his leadership his squad became an outstanding example of a well-run collective.
Lei Feng had deep affection for his comrades-in-arms in the PLA and saw "devotion to others without any thought of self" as the greatest happiness in life. He lived a simple life and often donated his modest savings to assist disaster victims or the needy families of his comrades. He was modest and prudent, never conceited, and preferred to do good work anonymously. Lei Feng died in a traffic accident on August 15, 1962.
The Ministry of Defense renamed his old squad the "Lei Feng Squad" and on March 5, 1963 Mao Zedong called for all Chinese people to "Learn from Comrade Lei Feng." March 5 is still celebrated in China as Lei Feng day.