Australia — Defence investigation into unacceptable material on social media

Defence has com­menced an inves­ti­ga­tion into reports of inap­pro­pri­ate and unac­cept­able mate­r­i­al post­ed to social media by cur­rent­ly serv­ing mem­bers of the Aus­tralian Army.
Act­ing Chief of Army, Major Gen­er­al Paul Symon, was plain­spo­ken in address­ing the mat­ter and acknowl­edged with regret, that the pri­vate com­ments of a few sol­diers could cause deep offence to Aus­tralians and our part­ners in Afghanistan.

“Army is appalled by this behav­iour. It is total­ly unac­cept­able and does not rep­re­sent Army val­ues of Courage, Ini­tia­tive and Team­work,” Major Gen­er­al Paul Symon said. 

“The mate­r­i­al post­ed by these sol­diers dis­cred­its the over­whelm­ing­ly pos­i­tive cul­ture demon­strat­ed through­out our deploy­ments in Afghanistan over the last decade.” 

“These sol­diers have demon­strat­ed a lack of decen­cy and pro­fes­sion­al judge­ment, and brought dis­cred­it to them­selves and dis­re­pute to the Army and the ADF

“Army per­son­nel have served along­side their Afghan coun­ter­parts for many years. We have forged a tremen­dous rela­tion­ship with them found­ed on trust, mutu­al respect and mateship. 

The com­ments are not rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the behav­iour and thoughts of the many thou­sands of Army peo­ple that have served with dis­tinc­tion along­side their Afghan coun­ter­parts in Afghanistan.” 

The Chief of the Defence Force has ordered an inves­ti­ga­tion which has com­menced. Pend­ing the out­comes of the inves­ti­ga­tion, Army will take appro­pri­ate dis­ci­pli­nary or admin­is­tra­tive action against the indi­vid­u­als involved. 

“Army will not tol­er­ate behav­iour which brings into ques­tion the integri­ty and trust­wor­thi­ness of serv­ing mem­bers, and, more impor­tant­ly, behav­iour which erodes the mutu­al trust and con­fi­dence between mem­bers. This is essen­tial to the effec­tive oper­a­tion of a dis­ci­plined force,” Major Gen­er­al Symon said. 

Media con­tact:
Defence Media Oper­a­tions 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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