Home' Army News : June 20th 2013 Contents Utterly appalled
Chief says allegations of unacceptable behaviour strike at the heart of Army’s ethos
THREE Army members have been
suspended and another five are being
considered for suspension as a result
of their involvement in the production
and distribution of highly inappropriate
material demeaning women.
CA Lt-Gen David Morrison announced
the suspensions on June 13 pending the out-
come of civilian police and Defence inves-
tigations into allegations of unacceptable
The investigations relate to evidence that
a group of officers and NCOs allegedly pro-
duced and distributed the highly inappropri-
ate material across both Defence computer
systems and the public internet.
The production and distribution of
the material dates back to 2010 and also
appears to make veiled reference to drug
“There is no place for this behaviour
in our Army and in a Defence Force that
prides itself on teamwork, courage and
respect, and where women and men work
alongside each other as colleagues and pro-
fessionals,” Lt-Gen Morrison said.
“It brings the Australian Army into dis-
repute and betrays all those whose service
has established its enviable status among
“I am, of course, cognisant of the need
to keep an open mind and to let the evi-
dence speak in regard to how these men are
dealt with, but I view the allegations that are
being made in the gravest light.”
The three suspended Army members
are the subject of an investigation by NSW
The Army initiated action on June 13
to consider the suspension of another five
members who are the subject of a parallel
ADF Investigative Service investigation into
a number of alleged service offences, which
is also ongoing.
Pending the outcome of the ADFIS
investigation, the Army may consider fur-
ther suspension decisions against nine oth-
ers if the circumstances warrant.
The group includes a lieutenant colonel
and several majors, captains, warrant offic-
ers, sergeants and corporals.
ADFIS is also investigating another 90
people, predominantly Army members, who
have been identified as peripheral to the
group’s email exchanges.
Where any serious case is proven, the
Chief is resolved to take every step avail-
able to remove the individual responsible
from the Army.
“If proven, these allegations could lead
to the imposition of punishment, to these
individuals being discharged from the
Australian Army,” Lt-Gen Morrison said.
“After the significant effort we have
made to encourage women to enlist and
remain in the Army, I am extremely
concerned at what appears to have been
“In the wake of the ADFA ‘Skype’ case,
and the series of inquiries and reviews into
various aspects of the ADF culture and mili-
tary justice over the last 20 years, the lead-
ership of the ADF no longer accepts the
‘bad apple’ argument when one of these
“These behaviours are symptoms of a
systemic problem and we will continue to
address them in a comprehensive manner,
through Defence’s Pathway to Change
Army and Defence are engaging with
and providing support to those women who
have been affected by these allegations.
Defence is also providing support to
those personnel who are the subject of the
For the full transcript from the Chief’s announce-
ment, go to www.army.gov.au/Our-work/Speeches-
PUBLIC RESPONDS: CA’S VIDEO ELICITS HUNDREDS OF COMMENTS
AS THE Chief’s message was
broadcast Australia-wide, mem-
bers of the public responded
on a range of internet forums.
The following comments were
posted on the official Army
Thank you Sir, from a Vietnam
And still people wonder why
there are lectures every year
about equity and diversity.
I hope they are named and
Name and shame them. I hope
these actions of a few don’t tar
As a former member of the reg-
ular Army, I was on the receiving
end of abuse, physical and emo-
tional at times during my career.
I loved my time in the military
and am proud of my service and
achievements. This message
bought tears to my eyes to see
that the Army culture is finally
becoming more about justice,
fairness and equality.
It’s about time these people
were exposed and the ADF not
cover it up.
Lt-Gen David Morrison gives
me confidence as I am about to
apply for the Australian Army. Of
course there will be problems in
any workplace, but it is how the
workplace hierarchy deals with
these problems that matter.
The truth hurts sometimes.
but that’s what it takes to have
The investigation is still
going yet most of you want
them named and shamed?
Presumption of innocence ring
Times change – those who
think it appropriate to send
sexually explicit emails are
mistaken. I speak as one who,
in the past, has thought this
issue was being overplayed. I
understand now I was mistaken
and encourage others to catch
up with society and show more
Thank you for your clear,
unequivocal message that
denigrating women is totally
unacceptable and for highlight-
ing that those who stand by and
do nothing are also part of the
Great message. He was so
direct and honest. It’s about
time people realised that
Defence is really starting to take
this seriously. Respect to those
who do the right thing.
Culture shock: CA Lt-Gen David Morrison has implored officers and soldiers to examine their values as 17 Army personnel are
investigated over the alleged production and distribution of highly inappropriate material.
Photo by LS Helen Frank
View Army online at
watch CA Lt-Gen
Army June 20, 2013
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