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You must be very careful to appoint a competent man as leader in the rear.1 For if he is a good man, his cheers will always hearten the ranks in front of him in case it becomes necessary to charge; or, should the moment come to retreat, his prudent leadership will, in all probability, do much for the safety of his regiment.

1 i.e., the last man of each file, cf. 3, who in some cases would have to act as leader. In the Spartan infantry he was the man with the longest service in the file.

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