The woman started receiving the texts in the spring, but grew concerned after they became suggestive, she told USA Today; though adultery is a violation of military law, she claimed that the exchanges occurred via text and the relationship did not become physical.The messages, sent mostly late at night, ranged from mildly flirtatious to sexually suggestive, though let’s be honest: a married senior officer sending a subordinate’s wife personal texts is inappropriate nearly any way you cut it, and doubly so when they read like this: “You seem to have a great modeling resume!” A former military prosecutor who reviewed the messages told USA Today, “He should lose his command over this”.
Maj. Gen. Joseph Harrington, a two-star general in charge of US Army Africa who is based in northern Italy, allegedly sent dozens of messages to the woman in Europe, who is married to an American soldier, USA Today reports.
Christensen said that Harrington also phoned the woman often and once contacted her from the shower. Pat Seiber, an Army spokesman.
“MG Harrington has been suspended from his duties as the Commander of United States Army Africa’s Southern European Task Force pending the completion of an investigation by the Army’s inspector general”, the Army’s chief of public affairs office said in a statement Friday. The woman spoke on terms of anonymity and claimed that the communication began and friendly and business-related and says that their relationship did not evolve into anything physical.
Harrington said in a May interview with Stars and Stripes that he regarded Dempsey as the epitome of a military leader. She became concerned with the texts, she said, after Harrington’s messages became suggestive.
The messages, according to an expert in military law, seem to clearly qualify as conduct unbecoming an officer.
The messages, many sent late at night, veer from the mundane to the personal. In some texts, he complained about travel and getting sick on local food.
In one instance, Harrington writes that the woman is a “HOTTIE” and ‘looking good for sure, ‘ in reference to her appearance.
“You seem to have a great modeling resume!” Truly! Though I hadn’t noticed!
“I’m sorry! Make up se…x is fun”, he wrote back.
In one exchange, Harrington noted that, “I don’t think your husband would be happy if he knew you chatted with another man”.
At other points Harrington discussed giving the woman gifts.
“I’d enjoy being in a tent with U”, he said.
“I hope u delete this exchange!” Adding later: “Why not delete after communicating?”
“There’s no way in hell this guy should be texting some junior enlisted’s wife in the middle of the night, and he knew it”, Christensen said. Gen. David Haight, the “swinging general” who lost his job and three ranks when his secret life was revealed.
A New Jersey native who became an Army officer through ROTC and was commissioned in 1987, Harrington has been considered a rising star.
Before Harrington took over the Africa post, he was a top aide for Gen. Martin Dempsey when he was Army Chief of Staff and chaired the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“With all the attention we have paid to improper relationships in the military, he just didn’t care”, Christensen said. Moreover, Harrington has the authority to order cases to go to court martial, including those involving sexual assault and harassment.
Christensen said that the Army could not have left Harrington in command while the investigation proceeded.