Trump picks billionaire hockey team owner for Army secretary


President-elect Donald Trump announced Vincent Viola as his nominee for Secretary of the Army. Viola is a 1977 graduate of West Point who served as an infantry officer while on active duty. He is also the owner of the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers.

According to a report by the Washington Examiner, Viola, who served with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), is the executive chairman of Virtu Financial. Before that, he chaired the New York Mercantile Stock Exchange, and he was there during the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center nearby.

The events of that infamous day moved him to found the West Point Combating Terrorism Center.

“Whether it is his distinguished military service or highly impressive track record in the world of business, Vinnie has proved throughout his life that he knows how to be a leader and deliver major results in the face of any challenge,” the Trump transition office said in a statement. “The American people, whether civilian or military, should have great confidence that Vinnie Viola has what it takes to keep America safe and oversee issues of concern to our troops in the Army.”

“I will work tirelessly to provide our president with the land force he will need to accomplish any mission in support of his National Defense Strategy,” Viola said in a statement. “A primary focus of my leadership will be ensuring that America’s soldiers have the ways and means to fight and win across the full spectrum of conflict.”