Washington: US president-elect Donald Trump today nominated billionaire businessman and army veteran Vincent Viola to be his secretary of the Army.
As Secretary of the Army, Viola will combine a deep background in national security affairs with an impressive track record of leading and managing high-performing teams within the military and the private sector, the presidential transition team said.
Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, Viola worked to support the Army philanthropically in the areas of counterterrorism, cybersecurity and leadership development, including helping to found the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point.
He has also founded multiple high-value companies, including Virtu Financial, and chaired the New York Mercantile Exchange. Viola's business experience makes him well positioned to help guide a Fortune 10-sized company, the US Army, to accomplish its broad mission in the most innovative and efficient way possible.
"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," Trump said.
"He is a man of outstanding work ethic, integrity, and strategic vision, with an exceptional ability to motivate others. 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," he said.
"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," Viola said in a statement.
A living proof of the American dream, 60-year-old Viola was born and raised in an Italian immigrant family in Brooklyn, and his father worked a truck driver. He was was inspired to join the military after witnessing his father?s service in the US Army in World War II.
Viola was the first member of his family to attend college, and after graduating from the US Military Academy at West Point in 1977, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the US Army that same year.
In the 1980s, Viola worked as a trader on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) and also founded the first of many business ventures, including Pioneer Futures and the Independent Bank Group. After a long and influential career, Viola was appointed Chairman of NYMEX in March 2001.