For Immediate Release 
December 19, 2016

President-Elect Donald J. Trump Nominates Vincent Viola as Secretary of the Army

(New York, NY)— President-elect Donald J. Trump today announced he intends to nominate former U.S. Army infantry officer and current Virtu Financial Founder and Executive Chairman Vincent “Vinnie” Viola as 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. Viola is a West Point graduate and U.S. Army veteran. He was trained as an Airborne Ranger infantry officer and served in the 101st Airborne Division. Viola has long been engaged with national security issues even after his military service.

Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, Viola worked tirelessly 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 U.S. Army, to accomplish its broad mission in the most innovative and efficient way possible.
“I am proud to have such an incredibly accomplished and selfless individual as Vincent Viola as our Secretary of the Army,” said President-elect Donald J. Trump. “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 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.”
“It is an honor to be nominated to serve our country as President-elect Trump’s Secretary of the Army,” said Viola. “If confirmed, 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. 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. This great honor comes with great responsibility, and I will fight for the American people and their right to live free every day.”
Viola is living proof of the American dream. He was born and raised in an Italian immigrant family in Brooklyn, and his father worked a truck driver. Viola was inspired to join the military after witnessing his father’s service in the U.S. Army in World War II. Viola was the first member of his family to attend college, and after graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1977, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army that same year. After graduating from the Infantry Officer Basic Course and Ranger School, Viola reported to duty with the 101st Airborne Division. Viola remained a member of the U.S. Army Reserve after the completion of his active duty service. In 1983, he received his J.D. from New York Law School.

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.  

Viola’s leadership of NYMEX on and after 9/11 resulted in the board of Exchange recognizing his actions with a citation that included this statement:  “His heroic leadership served as a beacon to thousands of Exchange members and staff, providing us with the fortitude to resume operations and preserve the efficiency of the American economy and global energy and metals markets in the face of this great tragedy.” In 2008, Viola founded Virtu Financial, a global leader in electronic market making, and took the company public in 2015.
Viola has also been deeply involved in a number of philanthropic causes. Viola has endowed the Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J. Chair in Catholic Theology at Fordham University and is a major supporter of the Catholic Leadership Institute and its mission to provide world-class leadership formation to bishops, priests and deacons. He is also the owner of the NHL’s Florida Panthers.
Viola lives in New York City with his wife Teresa. They have three adult sons.

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What They Are Saying...

Leaders Praise the Selection of Vincent Viola to Serve as Secretary of the Army

General (Ret.) Ray Odierno, former Chief of Staff of the Army:
"During these uncertain and complex times we need leaders of great character to lead our military services. I know of no one more qualified and dedicated to lead our great Army than Vinnie Viola. A West point graduate and long time supporter of our soldiers, he has demonstrated a unique capability to build innovative and agile teams. Vinnie will  bring a wealth of business experience and military understanding to this critical national security position--an inspiring choice."

General (Ret.) Keith Alexander, former Director of the National Security Agency:

"I would like to express my strong support for President-elect Trump’s nomination of Vinnie Viola for the position of Secretary of the Army. Vinnie has been a leader, innovator and change agent throughout his career. He was an early and strong supporter of the Army’s Cyber Institute. He has extensive knowledge of the cyber threat to our nation and is well prepared to lead our Army to counter this and other challenging threats our Nation faces."

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY):
“I've known Vinnie Viola for a over decade, and his dedication to the @USArmy is second to none.” (Twitter)

Bob Greifeld, CEO, Nasdaq:
"I have known Vinnie for more than 20 years and he is a true patriot. He is someone who symbolizes our core American ideals of freedom and prosperity. From his humble beginnings to his West Point appointment to his service with the 101st Airborne Division to his entrepreneurial business spirit, the U.S. Army will benefit greatly from his dedication, leadership and passion for this country."  

Ken Langone, co-founder of Home Depot:
“Vinnie Viola loves America and he loves his fellow soldiers.  His experience in the military and his success in business make him the kind of leader the Army needs to be effective in protecting and defending our nation.  He has a prolific track record as an innovator who gets things done. In nominating Vinnie as his choice for Secretary of the Army, President-elect Trump has chosen the right leader for our nation’s soldiers.”

Karen Greenberg, Director of the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School and author of Rogue Justice:  The Making of the Security State:
"The nomination of Vincent Viola is a reassuring one. Mr. Viola is a free thinker as well as a patriot. He has a deep understanding of global resources, a fair-minded approach to understanding complex issues, and an appreciation for the work of all of the branches of the armed services.  His interests range from education to technology, from the military to the Middle East. A West Point graduate, he is well-informed across a spectrum of ideas and approaches to American foreign and military policy, preparing him well to make informed and thoughtful decisions."

Dick Grasso, former Chairman and CEO, New York Stock Exchange (1995-2003):

''I have been privileged to call Vinnie Viola a dear friend since we began working together almost twenty years ago when he served as Chairman, New York Mercantile Exchange, and I was Chairman of The New York Stock Exchange.  While the consummate professional and natural leader, Vinnie's greatest leadership of the NYMEX came in the wake of the terrorist attacks of 9/11. He was faced with the almost impossible task of restoring trading in a building which was only steps from the fallen twin towers. It was clear that his education at West Point, and his leadership skills from active duty service would accept nothing less than complete restoration of trading no matter the challenges presented. He worked 24/7 with city and state officials and his private sector partners to ensure a prompt resumption of trading which I was honored to attend. As a graduate of West Point, he presided, posted the colors, presented our national anthem, and credited everyone but himself for this incredible feat. Vinnie's love of our nation and those who serve is simply remarkable.  If confirmed, he will make an outstanding Secretary of the Army.”

Bruce Hoffman, a senior fellow at the Combating Terrorism Center: 
"…Trump’s nomination of Viola is an 'inspired pick.' He was a driving force in both forming and funding the center, and was motivated by his experiences helping colleagues at the New York Mercantile Exchange evacuate from lower Manhattan after the Sept. 11 attacks, Hoffman said.

“'He was always in the background there, but it was never about him,' Hoffman said of Viola’s influence on the West Point center. 'He imparted his wisdom on a one-to-one basis, but he was not someone who was up that mic and or the dais. It was never about him.'” (Washington Post
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