(TRENTON, N.J.) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is asking someone else to lose weight — the leader of the state’s National Guard.
The 2016 presidential candidate, who has struggled with his own weight problems for years, has given Air Force Brig. Gen. Michael L. Cunniff 90 days to meet the U.S. military’s fitness requirements and slim down after learning he was reprimanded by the Pentagon last year for his excessive weight and for missing physical-fitness tests.
As commander and chief of the New Jersey National Guard, Christie is in charge of 8,400 soldiers and airmen.
Christie spokesperson Kevin Roberts said the governor was informed of the issue last week and is urging the general to come into compliance with all military requirements.
“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,” Roberts said in a statement. “The Governor has directed General Cunniff to meet his obligations in the next 90 days.”
Christie’s order comes after his staff told The Washington Post that the governor was unaware the general was not meeting Air Force fitness standards.
In a written statement from the National Guard, Cunniff admits struggling with his weight in his adult life and for not meeting his fitness requirements in recent years.
“Many people struggle with weight control — I am not immune from this. Just as I afford every opportunity to each Soldier and Airmen to meet these standards, so will I,” Cunniff said. “I take this matter seriously and am taking the necessary steps to remedy this issue by being involved in a rigorous physical fitness training program and have sought the assistance of a nutritionist.”
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