Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Inside Chris Christie’s militia, flab and cronyism trigger mutiny in the ranks

By Craig Whitlock September 21, WashPost

TRENTON, N.J. — Besides serving as governor and running for president, Chris Christie has another job. As commander in chief of the New Jersey National Guard, he is in charge of 8,400 citizen soldiers, a militia that has become increasingly dysfunctional under his watch.

After he took office in 2010, Christie (R) reappointed a two-star Army general — a childhood friend — to lead the Guard. But the married general was forced to resign in disgrace after staff members caught him having an affair at work, documents show.

The governor’s next pick, an Air Force pilot, was secretly reprimanded by the Pentagon last year for his excessive waistline and for repeatedly ducking physical-fitness tests, according to records obtained by The Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act.

More recently, several high-ranking officers have filed whistle­blower complaints, alleging that the Guard’s leadership is plagued by cronyism, racism and a “toxic” command climate, among other problems. State and federal officials have opened independent investigations. Legislators have pledged to hold hearings.

(More here.)

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