a camp follower

camp follower

1. A civilian who follows a military unit from one location to the next, either because the person is closely related to a service member or to unofficially provide goods or services to members of the unit. Daniel spent his childhood as a camp follower. His father was in the army, so he and his mother had to move a lot.
2. A person who supports a group or cause without officially belonging to its organization. I always vote Republican, but I'm a camp follower—I'm registered as an Independent.
See also: camp, follower

a camp follower

You call someone a camp follower when they follow or spend time with a particular person or group, either because they admire or support them, or because they hope to gain advantages from them. Brecht was surrounded by `camp-followers' — crowds of women who seemed to adore him. Even in my day as a player, we had our camp followers. Note: This expression is often used to show disapproval. Note: Originally, camp followers were civilians who travelled with an army and who made their living selling goods or services to the soldiers.
See also: camp, follower
References in classic literature ?
The doctor's watch were all back at their loopholes, the rest were busy loading the spare muskets, and everyone with a red face, you may be certain, and a flea in his ear, as the saying is.
He shook himself like a dog with a flea in his ear, and rambled out of the gate.
It is hard to think of General Nathanael Greene, one of Washington's most brilliant fighters who also served as quartermaster general from 1778 to 1780, as a camp follower.