Punishment decided for General who was ‘sexting’ with enlisted soldier’s wife

Maj. Gen. Joseph P. Harrington, Commanding General of U.S. Army Africa, gives opening remarks during the African Alumni Symposium (AAS) at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education center on March 6, 2017.

The Army has made its final decision on the punishment for the 2-star-general who was caught having an inappropriate online dialogue with an enlisted soldier’s wife.

Maj. Gen. Joseph Harrington flirted on social media with the soldier’s wife, sending 1,158 messages back and forth with the woman between Feb. 12, 2017, and June 3, 2017.

“The conversations ranging from friendly conversation to flirtatious at times, and included sexual innuendo,” the Army inspector general report stated.

The woman who received the messages told USA TODAY last year that the texting began as friendly after she had met Harrington at the gym in Vicenza, Italy.

According to the report, she felt he “worked” her for three months and perhaps wanted her to send him pictures of herself naked, but was too smart to ask for them.

In one message he wrote: he wrote: “You seem to have a great modeling resume! Truly! Though I hadn’t noticed! Where is your hubby tonight? Work?”

When she replied that she’d fought with her husband, and that he was asleep, Harrington responded: “I’m sorry! Make up se…x is fun”

After reviewing all of the messages, the Army determined that he had engaged in inappropriate online communication, finding his actions “dissolute and immoral.”

He is being forced to retire and being demoted one star to a brigadier general.

The Army retired Harrington at the lower rank because it is the last one at which he had served satisfactorily, said Cynthia Smith, an Army spokeswoman.  “We believe that appropriate action was taken, and consider the matter closed,” Smith said.

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