The much decorated Drill Sergeant was emulated by other unit soldiers. Emulated most nearly means:

imitated

Explanation

To "emulate" someone means to imitate them or to act and behave in a similar way. The reason the Army and the Marines use drill sergeants is so that the recruits can "emulate" their fine example. The correct answer is "d." The words "punished" and "praised" can be ruled out from context. The "unit soldiers" do not often praise or punish the Drill Sergeants. It's usually the other way around.

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