Australia's army chief yesterday told troops to quit if they could not respect women, warning he would ruthlessly rid the military of misogynist men after a new sex scandal exploded.
Lieutenant-General David Morrison said no stone would be left unturned to weed out those who "exploit and demean" women recruits. The Australian newspaper reported yesterday that officers allegedly filmed themselves having sex with colleagues and civilians, then distributed the images to other military personnel.
"I will be ruthless in ridding the army of people who cannot live up to its values," Morrison said in a message posted on the Australian Defence Force website and YouTube. "Those who think it is okay to behave in a way that demeans or exploits their colleagues have no place in this army. If that does not suit you, then get out. You may find another employer where your attitude is accepted, but I doubt it.
"The same goes for those who think that toughness is built on humiliating others."
The hardline comments follow Morrison's revelations on Thursday that 17 personnel, including officers, were under investigation after hundreds of "explicit and repugnant" e-mails and images demeaning women were uncovered. Almost 100 other recruits were implicated.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the ring of soldiers at the heart of the scandal called themselves the Jedi Council, swapping footage of their sexual encounters without the women's knowledge. Morrison said the reports were a "fair description" of what he had been told.