b. Proximate Cause. Proximate cause refers to the casual relationship between
an act of a service member and a resulting disease or injury. A proximate cause is a direct
cause. To be a proximate cause, it must appear that under the particular circumstances,
the member could have reasonably expected that his conduct might result in injury or
disease. When the member's conduct is only a contributing cause, the disease or injury
cannot appropriately be found to have been caused by misconduct. Intentional misconduct
or willful negligence can be established as the proximate cause only when this conclusion is
supported by a greater weight of evidence than that supporting a different conclusion. A
member may be AWOL, which is classified as misconduct; however, if an injury is inflicted
by another person, misconduct is not the proximate cause.
punitive. Adverse LD findings are not used as a means to punish or discipline.
d. Intentional Misconduct, Willful, and Simple Negligence. These terms are
explained as follows:
(1) Intentional Misconduct. This term applies to any wrongful or improper
conduct which is intended or deliberate. Intent can be expressed or implied. Misconduct
does not necessarily involve committing an offense under the Uniform Code of Military
(2) Willful negligence. This term describes a conscious and intentional
omission of the proper degree of care under the circumstances. A reckless disregard of
the consequences of an act that may affect life or property is presumed to be willful.
Willfulness can be expressed or implied.
(3) Simple negligence. Simple negligence refers to the omission of care that a
person of ordinary prudence usually takes in the same or like situation. An injury or
disease caused solely by simple negligence is considered to be in the line of duty unless it
happened during a period of AWOL (provided the member was mentally sound at the
inception of the unauthorized absence), or if it existed prior to service.
e. Abuse of Alcohol or Other Drugs. Definitions of these terms are as follows:
(1) Alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse refers to the intentional use of alcohol which
leads to misconduct, unacceptable social behavior, or impairment of a person's
performance, health, or personal relationships with others.
(2) Other drug abuse. This includes the intentional nontherapeutic or illegal use
of any drug other than alcohol.
(3) Misuse. Misuse refers to the unintentional but improper use of a drug.