Head of New Jersey National Guard meets fitness deadline

AP News
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Posted: Dec 23, 2015 12:54 PM

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The leader of New Jersey's National Guard has passed a fitness test, meeting a deadline to shape up that was imposed by the governor, who himself has faced questions about his weight.

Air Force Brig. Gen. Michael Cunniff was given 90 days to slim down and meet his obligations in September after he was reprimanded by the Pentagon about his weight and for repeatedly dodging physical-fitness tests. Kevin Roberts, a spokesman for Gov. Chris Christie, said Wednesday that Cunniff informed the governor that he was administered his fitness test Tuesday and passed.

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

A spokesman for Cunniff wasn't immediately available to comment Wednesday.

"Many people struggle with weight control — I am not immune from this," Cunniff said in the statement in September. "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."

Roberts said in September that Christie "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, who once called himself "the healthiest fat guy you've ever seen," underwent lap-band weight-loss surgery in 2013.