Does Gen. John E. Hyten, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have an account on Telegram -- the encrypted social media platform -- and did he send some kind of message to followers? No, that's not true: A Telegram account using a picture of Hyten is not real. The Telegram account imitating or impersonating Hyten is fake, Maj. Trisha Guillebeau, spokesperson for Gen. Hyten, told Lead Stories.
The claim appeared as a post that appeared to be an account for Gen. Hyten on Telegram published on January 19, 2021 (archived here).
Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:
Hold the line.
The photo used is the same as Gen. Hyten's on the official U.S. Department of Defense website.
The message under the photo is in Polish:
Ostrzeżenie: wielu użytkowników zgłosiło to konto jako oszustwo lub fałszywe konto. Zachowaj ostrożność, zwłaszcza jeśli poprosi cię o pieniądze.haha"
Translated into English it reads:
Warning: Many users have reported this account as a scam or bogus account. Be careful especially if he asks you for money haha"
"General Hyten does not have any personal or professional social media accounts," Guillebeau told Lead Stories via telephone on January 19, 2021.
Hyten's official biography details his current position and education:
Gen. John E. Hyten serves as the 11th Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this capacity, he is the nation's second highest-ranking military officer and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
General Hyten attended Harvard University on an Air Force Reserve Officer's Training Corps scholarship, graduated in 1981 with a bachelor's degree in engineering and applied sciences, and was commissioned a second lieutenant."