The U.S. Air Force has relieved a high-ranking, decorated colonel from command for being too fat.
Colonel Tim Bush, of North Dakota’s Grand Forks Air Force Base, has been removed from his role as commander of the 319th Air Base Wing, Air Mobility Command spokesman Major Mike Andrews, said on Wednesday.
Bush’s second-in-command, Colonel Christopher Mann, has been tapped as interim commander until a replacement can be found, Military Times, a Gannett-owned publication, said.
Military Times reported that the Colonel was fired after failing the "waist measurement" portion of his physical fitness test. “Bush was not relieved for alleged misconduct or wrongdoing,” a statement issued by the Air Mobility Command said.
Major General William Bender, commander of the Air Force Expeditionary Center, was reportedly responsible for Bush’s abrupt exit. Bender is accountable for six wings and two groups within the Air Mobility Command, including the 319th Air Base Wing, Bush’s former unit.
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According to Military Times, an anonymous source within the Air Force claimed Bush told his men that Maj. Gen. Bender’s decision stemmed from a failed physical fitness assessment. Bush reportedly failed the waist measurement portion of the test. The 25-year Air Force veteran said he will request retirement rather than accept a demotion.
His Air Force biography said Bush graduated from the Academy with a senior pilot rating in 1988. Professionally, he has logged more than 2,100 flying hours in a variety of military aircraft.
In addition, it said Bush has served as Presidential Advance Agent for Air Force One, Aide de Camp to the Commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command, Commander, 384th Air Refueling Squadron, Commander, 908th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, and Commander, 733d Air Mobility Squadron.
Bush in 2011 also spent several months as the deputy director of mobility forces for U.S. Air Forces Central Command from Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Military Times reported. He has been awarded a Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Meritorious Service Medal.