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Rank-and-file

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Rank-and-file

For the band, see Rank and File.
For the separate terms "rank" and "file" in chess, see Chess terminology.
For the chess notation system assigning letters to files and numbers to ranks, see Algebraic chess notation.

The rank and file are the individual members of a political organization or labor union, exclusive of its leadership. The phrase originated in the military, denoting the horizontal "ranks" and vertical "files" of individual foot-soldiers, exclusive of the officers and is still sometimes used to refer to the bulk of lower-ranking troops.[1]

The rank and file movement is a blanket term for informal left-leaning groups among British trade unionists, generally strenuously opposed to the union hierarchies and by them, and often facing expulsion.

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