Army Suspends General for Flirting With Soldier's Wife

'How often does your devil vixen come out?' he asked on Facebook
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2017 12:08 PM CDT
Army Suspends 'Rising Star' Over Flirty Facebook Messages
Maj. Gen. Joseph Harrington has been suspended while the US Army investigates flirty Facebook messages he sent to the wife of an enlisted soldier.   (US Army)

The Army has suspended the head of its forces in Africa after he was caught flirting with the wife of an enlisted soldier in private Facebook messages, USA Today reports. "I knew u were worth worshiping!" Maj. Gen. Joseph Harrington writes in one message. "How often does your devil vixen come out?" Stars and Stripes quotes Harrington as asking in another message. Harrington, considered a "rising star" in the Army, met the unnamed woman at the gym. She says their conversations started friendly but she got concerned when they turned suggestive, according to USA Today. In his messages, Harrington suggested they meet and asked the woman to delete their conversations afterward. The woman turned over dozens of messages sent between March and June to an advocacy group.

Harrington, the commander of the US Army Africa's Southern European Task Force, was suspended while the Army investigates. Harrington is married, and adultery is a violation of military law—though the woman says their relationship never turned physical. Regardless, Don Christensen, the head of an advocacy group for military sexual assault and harassment victims, says Harrington "should lose his command over this." “I would say they clearly violated Article 133—conduct unbecoming an officer,” the former Air Force prosecutor tells Stars and Stripes. The woman's husband serves at the same military installation in Italy as Harrington but isn't under Harrington's command. In a statement, Harrington says he looks "forward to the completion of the investigation." (More US Army stories.)

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