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Trump Tapped Billionaire NHL Owner Vincent Viola for Army Secretary

Viola is just the latest Trump appointee to have lots of money but little or no government experience.
December 19, 2016, 5:40pm
Photo by Omar Vega/Invision/AP

President-Elect Donald Trump has picked billionaire NHL team owner and Army vet Vincent Viola to be secretary of the Army, according to a statement released on Monday.

The Washington Post reports that Viola—the founder and executive chairman of e-trader Virtu Financial and owner of the Florida Panthers—graduated from West Point in 1977 and served as an infantry officer in the 101st Airborne Division. He later funded West Point's Combating Terrorism Center in 2003 and chaired the New York Mercantile Stock Exchange.

In his statement, Trump said that he is "proud to have such an incredibly accomplished and selfless individual as Vincent Viola as our Secretary of the Army."

"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," he continued.

"This great honor comes with great responsibility," Viola said in the statement, paraphrasing Uncle Ben from Spider-Man, "and I will fight for the American people and their right to live free every day."

Viola is just the latest Trump appointee to have a large personal fortune rather than experience in government—Trump has also nominated wealthy men to be his secretaries of state, commerce, treasury, and labor.