SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - It's a trend that's no longer confined to the walls of high schools and cell phone-toting teens. "Sexting" is creeping into the world of the United States military.
They're known as the few and the proud, but now the Marine Corps is getting a new label: sexters. According to the May 16 edition of the Marine Corps Times, there has been a sharp increase in the exchange of sexually explicit messages and photos among Marines.
It's a topic that can be especially delicate for military couples who often spend months apart during deployments. Reporter Gina Cavallaro says many spouses admit to sexting, calling it a great way to remind their partner they're on their mind, but add they do it discreetly.
"It keeps the sizzle going, the intimacy going, it promises them a nice treat when they come home," Cavallaro said. "But they both cautioned other women not to do it with anyone they didn't know."
But the extra cell phone spice has also created a marital minefield leading to reckless behavior, cheating and has even put the promising careers of high-ranking officers in jeopardy. Cavallaro describes one case highlighted in the article.
"The husband found some photos on his wife's phone of her and another lieutenant she was in school with. He created a website, and he called the website 'Men and Women of Exemplary character?' with a question mark and he sent the link to the website to the chain of command at the school," Cavallaro said.
The Marine Corps says it doesn't keep any data on sexting, but says collateral behavior will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
While Cavallaro stresses other branches of the military are experiencing similar issues, she hopes this new article makes people think twice before hitting "Send".
"You hit that send button and you can't get it back," she said.
The article on Marine Corps sexting comes out Monday in the Marine Corps Times.