- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 22, 2015

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has given the head of the National Guard 90 days to slim down to meet military fitness obligations. 

The order comes after it was revealed Air Force Brig. Gen. Michael L. Cunniff was reprimanded by the Pentagon last year for his excessive weight and for missing physical fitness tests. 

In a statement Tuesday, Mr. Christie’s office said the governor, who serves as commander in chief of the 8,600 citizen soldiers in the Guard, will give Gen. Cunniff 90 days to “meet his obligations,” The Associated Press reported.

“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 spokesman Kevin Roberts said in an emailed statement.

It is not clear how much weight the general must lose.

Mr. Christie’s order comes after The Washington Post published a report Monday that revealed ongoing allegations of a dysfunctional culture in the state’s National Guard under Mr. Christie’s administration.

The National Guard released a statement in which Gen. Cunniff acknowledged he failed to meet the Air Force’s fitness requirements in recent years.

“Many people struggle with weight control — I am not immune from this,” the general said in the statement. “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,” the general said.

Gen. Cunniff said he has begun a “rigorous” training program and is seeking help from a nutritionist.

But the GOP presidential candidate has also struggled with his own weight.

Mr. Christie, who once called himself “the healthiest fat guy you’ve ever seen,” underwent lap-band weight-loss surgery in 2013.

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