(one's) marching orders

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(one's) marching orders

1. A command or direction to advance, progress, or move on. (Usually used with "get" or "give.") We were waiting for the project leader to give us our marching orders before we began development of the next iteration of the software. Bill had been living in his parents' house for nearly a year without working when he finally got his marching orders to move out.
2. A notice of dismissal from one's employment. After messing up that account, I'm terrified that I'm going to get my marching orders any day now. The boss gave Daniel his marching orders for arriving to work drunk.
See also: marche, order
References in classic literature ?
I see my way plainly so far; but I am all abroad, as we used to say in the militia, about my marching orders afterward.
My marching orders for 1999 are to expand Guardian's revenue base through a combination of internal growth and acquisition.