Independent senator and former soldier Jacqui Lambie has savaged the chief of defence for suggesting ways trainee officers could avoid sexual predators.
Angus Campbell attracted widespread criticism after it was revealed he told first-year cadets to avoid the "four As" - alcohol, attractive, out after midnight and alone.
Senator Lambie questioned if the top military officer opposed attractive women serving in Australia's defence force.
"If you were to speak to the women's veterans network they're going right off their heads and so is every other female out there that has served," she told ABC radio on Friday.
"No wonder women are not going into the army. That is not helping."
General Campbell was forced to clarify his comments, saying he intended to challenge the group to do what they could to mitigate risk and take action against unacceptable behaviour.
"I am aware that my comments have been interpreted by some in a way that I did not intend," he said.
"There is never an excuse for perpetrating sexual assault or sexual harassment and the perpetrator is always to blame."
Senator Lambie urged the defence force to look in its own backyard regarding sexual assault.
"There has been stuff going on, there's always allegations going on," she said.
"There's still abuse going on in our defence forces, it certainly hasn't gone away."
General Campbell said he was considering incidents that affected military personnel over his years of service when he addressed the first-year cadets.
"The Australian Defence Force chiefs and I have zero tolerance for unacceptable behaviour," he said.
He said the ADF and the academy were implementing cultural reforms, which included ensuring victims felt safe to report sexual misconduct and received access to support services.
Australian Associated Press