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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