New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has given the general of the state's National Guard, Air Force Brig. Gen. Michael L. Cunniff, 90 days to lose weight and adhere to the U.S. military's fitness requirements.
The Washington Post found out
through Freedom of Information Act requests that the Air Force pilot was secretly reprimanded by the Pentagon last year, and the newspaper approached the governor's office for comment.
Christie spokesman Kevin Roberts told inquiring Post reporters that the governor — who had his own weight-loss surgery in 2013 — was unaware of the reprimand. He then issued a statement saying, "The Governor has expressed directly to the General that his failure to meet that standard or to provide notification of his formal reprimand is both unacceptable and disappointing. "
Christie gave Cunniff 90 days to "meet his obligations" in regard to the Pentagon's weight guidelines.
According to The Military Times
, Cunniff's last fitness test was in November 2013. His waist size measured 43.5 inches, 4.5 inches more than is allowed.
"Many people struggle with weight control — I am not immune from this," the general said a statement to the media. "However, I do recognize that military members and leaders, like myself, are held to a higher standard. I take this matter seriously and am taking the necessary steps to remedy this issue."
As commander-in-chief of 8,600 citizen soldiers in the Guard, Christie was praised during his first term as governor for leading the state's response to Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
The experience gained during the storm response "molded me as a leader," Christie said before launching his presidential bid earlier this year.
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