Christie Tells National Guard Leader to Slim Down

TRENTON (AP) -
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, left, and Brig. Gen. Michael Cunniff, right, review troops at a military event in 2014. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, left, and Brig. Gen. Michael Cunniff, right, review troops at a military event in 2014. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Gov. Chris Christie wants the leader of New Jersey’s National Guard to shape up.

The governor has given Air Force Brig. Gen. Michael Cunniff 90 days to slim down and “meet his obligations” after Christie’s staff said he was unaware the general had been reprimanded by the Pentagon about his weight and for repeatedly dodging physical-fitness tests.

It was not clear how much weight the general must lose. Cunniff took a fitness test in November 2013, his first in more than three years. He flunked when his waist size was measured at 43.5 inches — 4.5 inches larger than what was allowed.

Cunniff acknowledged in a statement that 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.

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