A chief was busted down to petty officer first class earlier this month in connection to texts and “inappropriate communications” with another sailor’s wife, according to charge sheets and Navy officials.
Then-Chief Boatswain’s Mate John M. Armstrong pleaded guilty at court-martial on July 2 to making false statements to investigators in November.
Armstrong lied when he told them that a first class petty officer “never invited him to have a sexual relationship” with the more junior sailor’s wife, according to charge sheets.
Armstrong also made false statements about both “inappropriate communications” with the wife and texts he sent her last year, military prosecutors wrote.
Prosecutors cloaked the petty officer as Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Aircraft, Handling, “J.V." and the wife as “A.V.” in the records.
Armstrong also pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about sending a Snapchat, although details about the communication are not spelled out in the charge sheets.
Authorities initially charged the ex-chief with “engaging in unduly familiar communications” with the first class “regarding a potential extra-marital sexual relationship” with the petty officer’s wife in July 2018, according to the charge sheets.
Armstrong also faced a separate charge for an October 2018 incident in which he allegedly sexually harassed a subordinate gunner’s mate second class sailor by “making unwelcome advances and comments of a sexual nature via Snapchat,” according to charge sheets.
Officials dismissed both of those charges as part of the plea agreement, according to Navy spokesman Joseph Kubistek.
Kubistek said that Armstrong was sentenced to confinement for 30 days and reduction to petty officer first class but declined other details about the case, indicating only that “it is an administrative matter.”
Armstrong also declined comment through his Navy defense attorney, Lt. Ryan Feingold.
Armstrong has been assigned to Naval Station Everett, Washington, since early 2018, according to his service record.
Before that, he served on board the littoral combat ship Independence, the guided-missile cruiser Bunker Hill and the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln.
Armstrong enlisted in 2004 and pinned on chief a decade later.
Geoff is a senior staff reporter for Military Times, focusing on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was most recently a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at email@example.com.