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United States

US Army fires general for sexy texts to sergeant’s ‘hottie’ wife, the latest in string of military scandals

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 October, 2017, 12:49pm
UPDATED : Monday, 16 October, 2017, 8:08pm

The US Army has sacked a two-star general who sent flirty messages to the wife of an enlisted soldier at his post in Italy, including one in which he referred to the woman as a “HOTTIE.”

Major General Joseph Harrington until last month had commanded US Army Africa from his post in Europe.

Harrington’s dismissal was “due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command,” Army Colonel Patrick Seiber, a spokesman, said in a statement. “The Army has been investigating allegations related to Major General Harrington’s communications with the spouse of an enlisted soldier; however, since the review of the investigation is still ongoing, we can provide no further comment at this time.”

Harrington’s removal is likely a career-killer for an officer whose future had seemed bright. He had been a top aide to the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army General Martin Dempsey.

Like several generals before him who have been snared in sex scandals, Harrington will probably be reassigned until the investigation is complete and then a board of officers will determine the rank in which he last served satisfactorily. That will determine his rank in retirement.

The Army has seen several senior officers felled by scandal in recent years. They include Lieutenant General Ron Lewis, the former top adviser to then-Defence Secretary Ash Carter, whose lavish tabs at strip bars on an official trip killed his career. He was stripped of a star, as was Major General Wayne Grigsby, whose relationship with a subordinate woman drew scrutiny. The Air Force and Navy have seen the careers of senior officer end in disgrace.

Most recently, the most senior ranks of the Navy have come under scrutiny after it was revealed that the spokesman for the Chief of Naval operations had been allowed to stay on the job after being accused of sexual misconduct while dressed as Santa Claus at an office Christmas party.

Harrington and the woman, decades his junior, exchanged dozens of messages, many of them personal and referring to her appearance. He called her a “HOTTIE” in one, and others in which he acknowledged her husband, a sergeant, would not be happy with the relationship.

Harrington also asked her to delete the messages. She didn’t, and many of them were shared with USA Today.