Commanding General of US Army Forces in Africa Suspended for Inappropriate Texting

It looks like another senior officer is having a midlife crisis and hitting on a younger married woman:

Maj. Gen. Joseph Harrington, U.S. Army Africa Commanding General, attends a function on July 10, 2017, during a visit to Caserma Ederle, Vicenza, Italy. DAVIDE DALLA MASSARA/U.S. ARMY

Maj. Gen. Joseph Harrington, the commander of U.S. Army Africa, was suspended Friday pending an investigation into flirtatious text messages he is suspected of sending to another man’s wife.

“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,” said a statement from the Army’s chief of public affairs office.

Harrington said in a statement that “I look forward to the completion of the investigation.”  [Stars & Stripes]

Here is what was allegedly texted:

The woman who received the messages — who spoke on condition of anonymity because she fears retaliation against her husband — told USA TODAY the texting began as friendly and related to business. She said she had met Harrington at the gym. She became concerned with the texts, she said, after Harrington’s messages became suggestive. The relationship did not be come physical.

Harrington is married, and adultery is a violation of military law.

The messages, many sent late at night, veer from the mundane to the personal. Harrington oversees the Army’s activities in Africa from a post in northern Italy. In some texts, he complained about travel and getting sick on local food.

In others, he doted on the woman’s appearance, referring to her as “HOTTIE,” and “looking good for sure.” In another series 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”  [US Army WTF Moments]

You can read more at the link.

US Army Soldiers Removed from Vice President’s Security Detail for Bringing Women to Hotel Room

You would think soldiers selected for sensitive positions like this would know better:

Vice President Mike Pence

Soldiers assigned to Vice President Mike Pence’s communications detail have been reassigned from White House duty after a security video caught them bringing women back to their hotel rooms during a trip overseas, defense officials told NBC News.

The senior-ranking soldiers were sent home to the U.S. and removed from their positions earlier this month after White House staff learned of their actions, NBC News reported.  [Army Times]

You can read more at the link, but according to the article the women were not prostitutes.  This makes me wonder if the women were intelligence operatives then collecting on the soldiers in question?

Picture of the Day: ATACMS Response

S. Korea, U.S. conduct missile drill over N.K. missile launch

The U.S. Eighth Army’s ATACMS is launched on the east coast on July 29, 2017, as South Korea and the United States conduct a joint missile exercise in response to North Korea’s firing of yet another intercontinental ballistic missile the previous day, in this photo released by South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. The ATACMS, or the Army Tactical Missile System, is a surface-to-surface missile that has a range of 300 km. (Yonhap)

US Army’s New Transgender Policy Raises Concerns About Transitioning Males Showering with Females

I think there are going to be so few of these situations that this really will not be a problem:

Mandatory Army training materials state that females will have to accept transgender women showering with them.

The Army has been rolling out a series of training materials entitled “Tier Three Transgender Training” to prepare soldiers to accept transgenders in their ranks, and one of the bullet points states that soldiers will have to accept austere, primitive conditions, which entails acceptance of trans women showering with other female soldiers.

The Federalist obtained the materials from an active-duty officer who completed the training last week.

According to the training, soldiers will be allowed to switch their gender markets without undergoing any kind of transition surgeries or physical changes. There are two crucial elements needed for transition.  [Daily Caller]

You can read more at the link.

Article Claims Female US Infantry Troops Not Being Held to Same Standard As Men

I have been a supporter of women in the infantry with the caveat they should be held to the same standard as male troops.  However, this article claims through anonymous sources they were not:

Soldiers-in-training assigned to A Company, 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, start their first day of Infantry One Station Unit Training on Sand Hill, Fort Benning, Ga. The class that started Feb. 10 was the first to include female recruits. [Army Times]

America’s first female Army Infantrymen are here, but not all of them made it through.

In fact, only eighteen of the thirty-two female infantry recruits made it through the One Station Unit Training (OSUT) program at Fort Benning, Georgia.

While the attrition rate doesn’t seem all that alarming, it strikes a more concerning tone when factoring in that the females needed only to meet the much-lower female standards for physical fitness that separate them from their previously all-male counterparts.

That said, there were some women who certainly gave their male colleagues a run for their money.

“There was even one female that did better than 90 percent of the males on the PT test,” said one 22-year-old male trainee, who reportedly had high PT scores. “Speaking as the person who had the second-highest PT score- she had me looking over my soldier the whole cycle. It was something that definitely made me better, and maybe kept me up nights a few times. But certainly by the end of the cycle, I was doing more push-ups, because I had her chasing me.”

However, some sources who graduated from within the unit -whom requested concealed identities to protect their new careers- claimed a clear double-standard between males and females in their training cycle, including lighter rucksacks and lower expectations.

“No way,” one soldier told Popular Military when asked if women were held to the same standards. “Lighter rucks, things like that.”  [Popular Military]

You can read more at the link, but the Army has said the same standards were used so who knows what the truth is.

Army Investigating Allegations of Soldiers Sharing Nude Pictures

It will be interesting to see how the Army investigates this because you would think these posters are not using their real names:

The Army is looking into allegations that some soldiers may be involved in an image-sharing message board where troops from all branches of the service are allegedly crowdsourcing naked pictures of female service members.

“Special agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command’s specialized Computer Crime Investigative Unit are currently assessing information and photographs on a civilian website that appear to include U.S. Army personnel,” Army spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said in a statement to Army Times.

The special agents are working to “determine if a criminal offense has occurred,” Smith said.

First reported by Business Insider, the Army’s inquiry comes one day after news broke about AnonIB, a website where purported male service members request naked pictures of their female counterparts by name, rank and duty station. The Business Insider report also said the men allegedly were cyber-stalking and sharing nude photos of their female colleagues.   [Army Times]

You can read more at the link.

US Army Announces Project to Develop Biodegradable Mortar Rounds

This will be interesting to see what industry comes up with to develop mortar rounds that are biodegradable after they are fired and impact in the ground:

Marines train with the M203 40mm grenade launcher and the shoulder-launched multipurpose assault weapon at Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 23, 2015. The U.S. Army recently sought proposals to make biodegradable 40 mm to 120 mm training rounds loaded with specialized indigenous seeds that, when grown, will eliminate ammunition debris and contaminants from ranges around the world.

In a famous photograph from 1967, a Vietnam War protester placed flowers into rifle barrels of National Guardsmen. That role could one day fall to tank commanders and mortarmen.

The U.S. Army recently sought proposals to make biodegradable 40 mm to 120 mm training rounds loaded with specialized indigenous seeds that, when grown, will eliminate ammunition debris and contaminants from ranges around the world.

The three-phase study will test the concept’s viability and look at the potential financial and environmental impact, according to Frank Misurelli, a spokesman for the U.S. Army’s Armament Research Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. If successful, the winning proposal would become a “Program of Record” and the rounds could make their way into America’s military training arsenal.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link.

Report Shows Very Few Army Senior Leaders Commit Misconduct

The AP prints the headline “Army says some misconduct trends are increasing” and then you read the article and it was just nearly 50 senior Army leaders in the entire force that got in trouble:

Sexual misconduct and harassment allegations against senior Army leaders increased this year and more were substantiated than in 2015, according to a closely held report by the Army Inspector General.

The memo obtained by The Associated Press also said the most frequent charge lodged against senior officers on active duty, in the National Guard, Reserves and senior executive service in the past budget year was reprisal, with nearly 50 such allegations as of Sept. 30.

The total number of cases is small, but they represent some of the more serious misconduct concerns faced by the military. And they underscore the fact that transgressions are occurring in the higher ranks, not rooted simply in the younger enlisted force.  [Associated Press]

Here is where most of the minute transgressions are coming from:

Most of this year’s cases involved charges against senior Army National Guard officials. There were eight allegations of sexual misconduct or harassment against National Guard members, four of them substantiated. In the regular Army, there were three allegations of sexual misconduct. The number substantiated was not provided.

You can read the rest at the link, but this article could have been titled, “Report Shows Very Few Senior Army Leaders Commit Misconduct”.

Gold Star Family Booed for Being Allowed to De-board Plane Early

I would hope these passengers would have showed some better respect if they knew the “special military family” were in fact a gold-star family. Regardless I have been on many flights where people who needed to catch connecting flights were allowed to de-board early to catch their flights and have never heard of anyone booing them:

The father of a soldier who was killed last weekend in Afghanistan was disappointed and hurt after airline passengers booed him and his family as they flew to meet his son’s remains.

Stewart Perry, an ex-Marine who lives in Stockton, said the ordeal left him feeling disrespected.

“It was really disgusting on the passengers’ part,” he said Friday.

His son, Sgt. John Perry, was one of two killed in an explosion at a United States airbase on Nov. 12. He was honored at a memorial service in Lodi on Thursday and will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.  (……….)

Stewart Perry said he, his wife, Kathy, and daughter were flying on an American Airlines flight from Sacramento on Monday to Philadelphia, with a quick transfer in Phoenix. From Philadelphia, they traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to receive his son’s remains.

For unknown reasons, Perry said, the flight to Phoenix was 45 minutes late. The crew feared the delay might cause the Perrys miss their connecting flight.

So, when the plane landed in Phoenix, the captain made an announcement for all passengers to remain seated and to let a “special military family” exit the aircraft first, Perry said.

Several passengers in first class began to boo and complain, Perry said.

“Some people were saying ‘This is just baloney,’ and ‘I paid for first-class for this?’ ”

He said American Airlines “did everything they could” to accommodate his family.  [RecordNet.com]

You can read the rest at the link.

Hooker Hill Visit Leads to End of Career for Top Military Advisor to US Secretary of Defense

This general officer just committed career suicide.  I just can’t believe how these general officers getting in trouble like this think they can get away with such behavior?:

The former top military adviser to Defense Secretary Ash Carter used his government credit card for almost $2,900 at two strip clubs and behaved inappropriately with DOD female staff while on official travel, according to a Defense Department inspector general’s report released Thursday.

Maj. Gen. Ron Lewis, once considered a fast-rising star and a long-time trusted aide to Carter, was stripped of his position last fall just days after the delegation returned from an international trip that included stops in Malaysia, South Korea and Hawaii.  [Stars & Stripes]

Here is what he did while in South Korea:

The second government charge occurred in spring 2015, in Seoul at the “Candy Bar” club, “an establishment in an area of Itaewon, Seoul, commonly referred to locally as ‘Hooker Hill,’ ” according to the report. Many of the clubs in the area are off limits to U.S. servicemembers due to the illegal activities.

Lewis charged $1,121.25 on his government credit card at the Candy Bar and later told investigators he didn’t know why he had used that card there.

When defense staff processing his expenses noticed the charge, Lewis claimed that it must be fraudulent and had it disputed.

You can read much more on the link.