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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 ?
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.
But one who broke ranks, Senator Michael Williams, said, "I expect him to be what he has always been--fair.
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.
The fourth chapter examines the work of Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston, who broke ranks from Du Bois, Locke, and others seeking vindication on the concert stage, and celebrate d instead versions of black life expressed in the blues and other vernacular arts.