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Punitive Articles of the UCMJ

Article 115—Malingering

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Text.

“Any person subject to this chapter who for the purpose of avoiding work, duty, or service”—

(1) feigns illness, physical disablement, mental lapse or derangement; or

(2) intentionally inflicts self-injury; shallbe punished as a court-martial may direct.

Elements.

(1) That the accused was assigned to, or was aware of prospective assignment to, or availability for, the performance of work, duty, or service;

(2) That the accused feigned illness, physical disablement, mental lapse or derangement, or intentionally inflicted injury upon himself or herself; and

(3) That the accused’s purpose or intent in doing so was to avoid the work, duty, or service. Note: If the offense was committed in time of war or in a hostile fire pay zone, add the following element

(4) That the offense was committed (in time of war) (in a hostile fire pay zone).

Explanation.

(1) Nature of offense. The essence of this offense is the design to avoid performance of any work, duty, or service which may properly or normally be expected of one in the military service. Whether to avoid all duty, or only a particular job, it is the purpose to shirk which characterizes the offense. Hence, the nature or permanency of a self-inflicted injury is not material on the question of guilt, nor is the seriousness of a physical or mental disability which is a sham. Evidence of the extent of the self-inflicted injury or feigned disability may, however, be relevant as a factor indicating the presence or absence of the purpose.

(2) How injury inflicted. The injury may be inflicted by nonviolent as well as by violent means and may be accomplished by any act or omission which produces, prolongs, or aggravates any sickness or disability. Thus, voluntary starvation which results in debility is a self-inflicted injury and when done for the purpose of avoiding work, duty, or service constitutes a violation of this article.

Lesser included offenses.

(1) Article 134—self-injury without intent to avoid service

(2) Article 80—attempts

Maximum punishment.

(1) Feigning illness, physical disablement, mental lapse, or derangement. Dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 1 year.

(2) Feigning illness, physical disablement, mental lapse, or derangement in a hostile fire pay zone or in time of war. Dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 3 years.

(3) Intentional self-inflicted injury. Dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 5 years.

(4) Intentional self-inflicted injury in a hostile fire pay zone or in time of war. Dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 10 years.

Next Article> Article 116-Riot or breach of peace >

Above Information from Manual for Court Martial, 2002, Chapter 4, Paragraph 40

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