The Australian military Sunday defended its decision to pay for some female sailors to have breast implants, saying the operations were not carried out for cosmetic reasons.
Any suggestion that breast operations were carried out to make the women "look sexy" were not only wrong, but insulting, Australian Defence Force spokesman Brigadier Andrew Nikolic said.
Nikolic did not say how many women had had the taxpayer-funded operation, but said the military would consider paying for plastic surgery for personnel where there were medical, dental or compelling psychological or psychiatric reasons.
"Under defense policy we do consider the holistic needs of our people, both physical and psychological," he said.
"That is a long way from saying, however, that if someone doesn't like their appearance, defense will fund things like breast augmentations as a matter of routine -- that is just not correct."
Defense Association spokesman Neil James also defended the practice.
"For psychiatric or psychological reasons, this has been recommended after a medical evaluation," he told state radio.
"It's not being done because someone just wanted it.