Australian Army Gets Tough With Sexist Soldiers


SYDNEY -- Australian soldiers who think women have no place in the military were told Friday to leave the force.

Army chief Lt. Gen. David Morrison said those who sent internal emails depicting sex acts with commentary that demeaned women would be dismissed.

"One of the ways I'll deal with it is rigorously examine, establish if it is the guilt of these men, and if that's the case they'll be discharged," Morrison told local television.

Three officers have been suspended over the email traffic and up to 90 are being investigated.

In a video message to army personnel released late Thursday, Morrison said there were "systemic problems with culture inside the army."

"Those who think it's OK to behave in a way that demeans or exploits their colleagues have no place in this army," he said.

Morrison noted that women had served with distinction on the front line in Afghanistan, Australia's longest military engagement.

"If that does not suit you, then get out," he said.

Morrison said the behaviour was worse than a 2011 incident at the Defence Force Academy where a male cadet broadcast live footage of himself having sex with a female cadet who was unaware of the Skype broadcast.

"These are actions by men who have been in the Defence Force for in excess of 10 years," Morrison said. "This goes to the heart of what I said about systemic problems with culture inside the army."

He said a lieutenant colonel was among those being questioned.

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