The head of U.S. Army Africa has been suspended from his post in Vicenza, Italy, the Army announced Friday, after Facebook messages surfaced of his flirtatious conversations with another soldier’s wife.
Maj. Gen. Joseph Harrington is under investigation for misconduct stemming from messages he sent to an enlisted soldier’s wife after meeting her at the gym. She shared the messages with USA Today, which broke the story on Thursday.
“I look forward to the completion of the investigation,” Harrington told Army Times in a statement Friday.
Brig. Gen. Eugene LeBoeuf, deputy commanding general of U.S. Army Africa, has taken over in Harrington’s stead, according to Lt. Col. Armando Hernandez, the command’s 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,” Army spokesman Col. Patrick Seiber told Army Times. “Given that the matter is under investigation, we can provide no further comment at this time.”
Harrington’s messages escalated from business-like to personal, USA Today reported, from commenting on the woman’s appearance to acknowledging that her husband wouldn’t appreciate their communication.
At some points, he encouraged her to delete the messages altogether.
The married general could face Uniform Code of Military Justice action for his conduct, though USA Today reported that the relationship never became physical.
Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members.