On Monday, President-elect Donald Trump nominated former U.S. Army infantry officer and West Point graduate Vincent Viola as Secretary of the Army. The Trump transition team confirmed Viola, billionaire businessman who founded the electronic trading firm Virtu Financial and currently owns the Florida Panthers ice hockey team, as Trump’s pick for the position.
“He is a man of outstanding work ethic, integrity, and strategic vision, with an exceptional ability to motivate others,” Trump 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.”
“This great honor comes with great responsibility, and I will fight for the American people and their right to live free every day,” Viola said Monday about his nomination.
Viola graduated from West Point in 1977, and went on to fund the military academy’s Combating Terrorism Center following the September 11, 2001 attacks. Viola has been a long time advocate for tech in the Army, saying that the future of the branch will be built on a “gestalt of geekdom.”
“We’ve got to find geeks who love their country,” Viola said at a speech during a military tech conference. “At my company, I’ll gladly trade 10 pull-ups and five minutes on a run for 20 IQ points and heart.”