Chain of command
In a military context the Chain of Command
means the process in that an order travels through the ranks from the officer
who gives the order until it reaches the common soldier who is ordered to do something.
The words also employ that there is an order in which you should ask officiers for orders. In example a common soldier who is not happy with the orders of the officier who is in direct command of him is going to be diciplinied for not observing the chain of command if he directly appeals to for example a general.
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