Rank-and-File

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Rank-and-File

The members of an organization as opposed to its leaders. The term is especially common when some individual members disagree with leadership. For example, the rank-and-file members of a union may oppose some policies proposed by organizers and representatives.
References in classic literature ?
Of course," continued the unwitting Clare, "I should have been glad to know you to be descended exclusively from the long-suffering, dumb, unrecorded rank and file of the English nation, and not from the self-seeking few who made themselves powerful at the expense of the rest.
I further take the liberty to state that in my humble quality as one of the rank and file, I am, and shall ever continue to be, your thoroughly devoted and admiring servant and that I esteem the qualities you possess above all others far beyond the limits of the present dispatch.
The Negro Conference furnishes a rare opportunity for these workers to study the real condition of the rank and file of the people.