Army crackdown on white supremacists
SOLDIERS caught making hand gestures or symbols associated with racial hatred or white supremacists groups may have their service terminated, according to an email sent to army officers.
The email seen by the Townville Bulletin, was sent to senior ranking army officers, including commanding officers of units, after two soldiers were found to have posted photos of themselves on social media making a hand symbol associated with white supremacists.
The Defence Department would not confirm whether the soldiers are Townsville based, or had been stood down for their actions.
The message in the email prohibits personnel from making gestures or associating with organisations "contrary to army values".
"The chief has made it very clear that soldiers or officers who associate … with racial hatred, have no place in our army," the email reads.
The email advises for legal advice to be sought once action is taken against a member.
"When you or your subordinate commanders have sufficient material before you … suspension from duty action against the member is to be initiated." Termination of the member is also a possibility.
A Department of Defence spokesman said the Australian Defence Force didn't condone behaviours or symbols linked to extremist ideologies.
"Any ADF member found to be associated with extremist ideologies can expect to be investigated and will potentially face adverse administrative action," the spokesman said.