Statement on the termination of service of further Army members

14 November 2013 | Media Release

The Australian Army has terminated the service of six members in relation to the allegations of unacceptable behaviour announced by the Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison AO, on Thursday, 13 June 2013.

The six Australian Army Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers have had their service terminated in relation to the production or distribution of highly inappropriate material demeaning women, across both Defence computer systems and the public Internet.

These six individuals are also part of a total of 122 Regular Army and Army Reserve members whose service has been terminated this year (as at 12 November 2013) as a result of serious misconduct or unacceptable behaviour, the taking of prohibited substances and other civilian offences.

“These 122 individuals have engaged in conduct which is inconsistent with the Army’s values of Courage, Initiative, Respect and Teamwork and the standards of behaviour that we demand of all members of our Army,” Lieutenant General Morrison said.

“The Australian Army is overwhelmingly an organisation of 44,000 talented and professional men and women, who serve their country with pride and distinction.

“The standard of behaviour we expect of our serving members is clear.

“It is also clear that if you engage in misconduct, or you fail to uphold the Army’s standards, then you will be held to account.”

In relation to the allegations of unacceptable behaviour announced by the Chief of Army on Thursday, 13 June 2013:

  • The six individuals whose service has been terminated range in rank from Sergeant to Major and are from both Regular and Reserve units of the Australian Army.
  • Three of these six individuals have been the subject of a New South Wales Police Force investigation. Questions relating to any criminal charges or proceedings should be referred to the Office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (OCDPP).

A further 11 Australian Army Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers were identified in the investigation into these allegations of unacceptable behaviour.

  • A decision on the termination of seven of these Army members is currently under consideration.
  • The remaining four Army members have been the subject of, or are facing, administrative sanctions. In accordance with procedural fairness and the principles of natural justice, these members have been, or will be provided an opportunity to demonstrate why they should not be subject to such sanctions.

Defence has completed investigations into a further 172 individuals (predominantly Army members) who were identified as peripheral to the group’s email exchanges. Disciplinary and/or administrative action against each of these individuals is currently under consideration.

The 122 Army members whose service has been terminated this year (as at 12 November 2013) includes:

  • 50 Army members in relation to charges of misconduct or unacceptable behaviour. Of this number, 10 individuals were Regular Army Officers (including four Officer Cadets whose appointments were probationary); five individuals were Army Reserve Officers (including one Standby Reserve Officer); 32 individuals were Regular Army Soldiers, Non-Commissioned Officers or Warrant Officers; and three individuals were Reserve Army Soldiers, Non-Commissioned Officers or Warrant Officers.
  • 53 Army members in relation to prohibited substances. Of this number, one individual was a Regular Army Officer and 52 individuals were Regular Army Soldiers, Non-Commissioned Officers or Warrant Officers.
  • 19 Army members in relation to civilian offences. Of this number, nine individuals were Regular Army Soldiers and 10 individuals were Army Reserve Soldiers, Non-Commissioned Officers or Warrant Officers (including three Standby Reserve Soldiers, Non-Commissioned Officers or Warrant Officers).

Defence will not release any further details regarding personal information including specific ranks, units, locations, or disciplinary or administrative action as they relate to these individuals.

As previously stated, where any serious case of misconduct or unacceptable behaviour is proven, the Chief of Army is resolved to take every step available to remove the individual responsible from the Army.

Defence will not comment further on this matter at this time.

Media contact:
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999


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Issued by Ministerial and Executive Coordination and Communication,
Department of Defence,
Canberra, ACT
Phone: 02 6127 1999 Fax: 02 6265 6946

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