December 19, 2016
President-elect Donald Trump has nominated as his Army secretary Vincent Viola, an Army veteran who became a billionaire after founding an electronic trading firm and went on to buy the Florida Panthers hockey team.
Viola is a 1977 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and funded the creation of its highly regarded Combating Terrorism Center after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. A former infantry officer and Ranger School graduate, he has pressed for innovation in cyber warfare, saying at a conference five years ago that the Army of the future will be built on a “gestalt of geekdom.”Businessman Vincent Viola enters Trump Tower in Manhattan on Dec. 16.(Andrew Kelly/Reuters)
Viola was raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., by Italian immigrants, and served in the 101st Airborne Division after the Vietnam War ended. His father and several uncles served in combat in World War II, and he grew up believing that serving in the military was a deeply honorable profession, he recalled in an interview for the West Point Center for Oral History.
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