In an infantry formation, the front ranks seems to have much higher chance of being killed because they are exposed to the enemy front.
This thread explains how soldiers are arranged in Roman military formation. In the 18th-19th century era line infantry, what usually decides who goes in front? It seems unfair if just one person has to be in front all the time.. And if there is any consistent rule, how is it enforced? Or there is no preference at all, so it just depends on luck whether you get the front rank or not?
To clarify, I'm especially interested in the personal (the soldier) point of view regarding this, i.e. why they would want to be in what must be an unfairly disadvantaged position, but some insight about the tactical consideration is also welcome