Malingering: Military and Physical Fitness Test

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Malingering is one of the more serious offenses that a service member can commit. Covered under Article 115, malingering is defined by: * Feigning illness, physical disablement, mental lapse or derangement or * Intentionally inflicts self-injury; shall be punished as a court martial may direct. A service member can also be punished under Article 134 – Self Injury without intent to avoid service and Article 80 – Attempts. Malingering basically means that any action taken by a soldier to willfully avoid duty will be punished by court martial or other UCMJ action. There are severe consequences for such actions, let alone the problems it will cause to the soldier’s unit and his or her fellow soldiers.

The essence of this particular offense is by design an attempt avoid performance of any work, duty, or service which may properly or normally be expected of someone in the military service. Whether it is to avoid all duty, or even one small order or work detail, it is the purpose to avoid one’s duty which characterizes the offense. This can include things such as intentionally failing physical fitness tests to be chaptered out of the military and keep the same benefits of soldiers who complete their service honorably. By and by, the nature or permanence of a self-inflicted injury does not matter on the question of guilt, nor is the seriousness of a physical or mental disability when it is found or proven to have a malingering intent. 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. The injury may be inflicted by nonviolent means as well as by violent means. This can be accomplished by any act or confession which produces, prolongs, or aggravates any sickness or disability. Meaning that a soldier, who says or does anything to keep a physical profile or willfully attempting to get chaptered out of the military will be punished under Article 115. Even...
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