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RANK. The order or place in which certain officers are placed in the army and navy, in relation to others, is called their rank.
     2. It is a maxim, that officers of, an inferior rank are bound to obey all the lawful commands of their superiors, and are justified for such obedience.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
On the day supporters nationwide paid their respects to Best by observing a minute's silence impeccably, Leeds fans at Millwall broke ranks. As players gathered in the centre circle, the Leeds contingent roared: "We hate Manchester United."
You chose to commend and display photos of the two Republican senators who broke ranks with their party to vote for the amendment.
Arena Leisure broke ranks with the rest of British racing last month, deciding that they would employ their own stalls handlers at the group's three all-weather tracks in a bid to cut costs.
A Chirac follower since his entry in politics at the tender age of fifteen, he broke ranks to support Balladur in the 1995 presidential election.
But one governor, prominent Christian Angela Sarkis, vice-president of the African Caribbean Evangelical Alliance, broke ranks and said she "profoundly disagreed" with the decision.
Nineteen Democrats in the Georgia House broke ranks on the opening days of session to help elect the first Republican speaker in two centuries.
Labour MP Diane Abbott broke ranks to predict he would be leaving his post soon.
Labour MP Diane Abbott broke ranks and predicted that the Home Secretary would be leaving his post within weeks.
Twenty-seven Republicans broke ranks to oppose the measure, while 36 Democrats supported it.
But one of them broke ranks early on in the investigation by withdrawing the clauses and promising not to use them again.
Only the Northern League party broke ranks from the ruling centre-right coalition government to voice any opposition to the loan, but the move was supported by the opposition centre-left coalition.
Meanwhile, a senior Anglican bishop, Peter Forster, broke ranks with most of his colleagues and with the Archbishop of Canterbury to voice support for the U.S.-led military action in Iraq.