THE WORLDPOST
06/14/2013 05:43 pm ET

Australian Army Chief Warns Service Members To Respect Women Or 'Get Out' (VIDEO)

Lt. Gen. David Morrison is not messing around.

Following allegations that a group of servicemen circulated emails degrading several female service members, the Australian army chief issued a stern warning to the military branch: Respect women, or "get out."

In a striking public service announcement posted on YouTube, Morrison addresses the allegations of "unacceptable behavior" and clarifies his stance on any action that is demeaning to women.

"Those who think that it is okay to behave in a way that demeans or exploits their colleagues have no place in this army," he says in the video. "On all operations, female soldiers and officers have proven themselves worthy of the best traditions of the Australian army. They are vital to us maintaing our capability now, and into the future."

With his eyes focused on the camera, Morrison delivers the warning without pause.

"If that does not suit you, then get out," he states. "I will be ruthless in ridding the army of people who cannot live up to these values, and I need every one of you to support me in achieving this."

Morrison's video, which by Friday was shared around the world, follows an announcement the Australian army chief delivered to the Australian media Thursday.

Though Morrison could not share much about the specifics of the group's alleged actions since they are currently under investigation, he did reveal that three men have been suspended from duty and may also face civil charges. At least 14 other Australian army personnel have also been implicated in the wrongdoing, which has apparently taken place since 2010.

According to The Australian, the investigation surrounds several incidents in which servicemen filmed themselves having sex with women -- both female service members and civilians -- and sent out sexually explicit emails that contained graphic images using military computers.

While Morrison has spoken out on the sexual assault of female military personnel in the past, the move to publicly address the allegations of unacceptable behavior is an unprecedented one for the Australian army chief.

As The Age writer Jenna Clarke pens in an opinion piece: "This man is one of the most powerful in Australia and has taken to the universal platform of YouTube to administer one of the biggest kick-up-the-fatigues to our troops ever seen by the general public."

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