Gov. Christie orders leader of N.J. National Guard to lose weight

In this Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014 file photo, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, left, listens to New Jersey Adjutant General Brig. Gen. Michael Cunniff, right, as they review troops during the New Jersey National Guard's annual Military Review in Sea Girt, N.J.


PATERSON, N.J. - It's becoming a weighty controversy in New Jersey.

CBS New York reports that Governor Chris Christie has told the leader of New Jersey's National Guard, Air Force Brig. Gen. Michael Cunniff, to lose weight.

The order comes after the Pentagon reprimanded Cunniff for his weight, and dodging fitness tests, CBS New York reports.

On Tuesday, Christie, who has publicly struggled with his own weight, even undergoing Lap-Band stomach surgery, avoided questions about the situation.

In a statement, Gov. Christie said Cunniff did not tell him he was reprimanded by the Pentagon. Christie is giving Cunniff 90 days to trim down.

"Every individual in the military has to be combat ready ... and he has to meet the physical standards, just like any other member of the U.S. military," said retired U.S. Navy Lt. Steven Rogers to CBS New York.

In a statement, Cunniff acknowledged he did not meet military fitness requirements.

"I have struggled with weight control my entire adult life. However, I do recognize that military members and leaders, like myself, are held to a higher standard," he said.

CBS New York reports Cunniff is now training and receiving help from a nutritionist.

It's unclear how much weight Cunniff actually needs to lose. But his waist size was reportedly 4.5 inches over what it should be, according to his last fitness test three years ago, CBS New York reports.