The commander of U.S. Army Africa is under investigation for allegedly sending dozens of messages, some of them suggestive, to the wife of an enlisted soldier.
Maj. Gen. Joseph Harrington allegedly sent Facebook messages that ranged from flattering to flirty and suggestive to the woman, USA Today first reported Thursday evening. The messages also included a request to the woman to delete them.
The Army inspector general is investigating the allegations, said Lt. Col. Armando Hernandez, a spokesman for Army Africa.
Hernandez added that the enlisted soldier involved is not assigned to U.S. Army Africa, but declined to provide any additional information because of the ongoing investigation.
Harrington remained the commander of U.S. Army Africa as of Thursday evening.
Army Africa is based in Vicenza, Italy, and the woman involved was born in Europe and is married to a U.S. soldier, according to USA Today.
The woman who received the messages — who spoke to USA Today on condition of anonymity because she fears retaliation against her husband — told the paper that the texting began as friendly and related to business. She said she met Harrington at the gym, the paper reported.
She became concerned, she told USA Today, after the messages became suggestive. The relationship did not become physical, USA Today reported.
Harrington is married.
According to USA Today, Harrington complained about traveling in some of the texts, while in others he would remark on the woman’s appearance. He also repeatedly asked her to delete their messages, USA Today reported.
Harrington has commanded U.S. Army Africa for just over a year. A decorated combat veteran, Harrington previously served as the executive officer to now-retired Gen. Martin Dempsey when Dempsey was the Army chief of staff and later was executive assistant to Dempsey when the general was the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Michelle Tan is the editor of Army Times and Air Force Times. She has covered the military for Military Times since 2005, and has embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Haiti, Gabon and the Horn of Africa.