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Armed Forces Act 2006

Section 354: Extension of powers of command dependent on rank or rate

725.The operations and effectiveness of the Armed Forces depend fundamentally on the exercise of powers to give commands. Some authority to give commands derives simply from rank. A superior may give commands to someone of lower rank. Other parts of this authority flow from appointment to a particular responsibility, for example the authority of a CO over those within his unit.

726.This section deals with that part of the authority to command which arises simply from rank. It provides so that this authority is not limited by Service: an officer, warrant officer, or non commissioned officer of any Service (Army, Royal Navy, RAF or Royal Marines) has this authority over anyone of lower rank in any of the Services. The section accordingly makes tri-Service the general power to give orders arising from rank.

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