This photo taken on December 16, 2016 shows Vincent Viola arriving at Trump Tower for meetings with President-elect Donald Trump in New York. BRYAN R. SMITH AFP / Getty Images

President-elect Donald Trump Monday chose the owner of the Florida Panthers team billionaire and philanthropist Vincent Viola as secretary of the Army, his transition team reported.

Secretary of Defense is civil position and has legal responsibility in all matters relating to the United States Army, such as personnel, facilities, environmental issues, acquisition of equipment and weapons systems, as well as other administrative matters.

Viola joins the squad of billionaires who are part of the Trump team, although this position is not considered a cabinet post.

Trump and Viola met last week at the Trump Tower in New York.

The billionaire, son of Italian immigrants, forged his own fortune and now, among other things, owns the Florida Panthers ice hockey team and is president of Virtu Financial, one of the largest e-commerce companies.

According to the Panthers, ownership of the team will remain in the hands of the Viola family pending confirmation.

Doug Cifu, Viola’s partner of the Panthers and Virtu Financial, will become chairman and president of Sunrise Sports and Entertainment.

Dale Tallon, a Panthers executive, said: “We admire his dedication to his country and we are very encouraged to see him in this new endeavor.”

Matthew Caldwell, Executive Chairman of the Panthers and a graduate of West Point Military Academy, said: “We are honored to see Mr. Viola nominated to the position of Secretary of the Army. We can not be more proud of Vincent and his dedication to the country. ”

Married with three children, Vincent Viola has a strong relationship with the military world as a graduate of the prestigious West Point, over the years he has made contributions to it.

After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, he founded the West Point Terrorism Combat Center and the technology company Rowan Technology Solutions, to support cadet education in military history, military science, and leadership.

In addition, Viola, 60, has also supported the Army Cyber Institute, the Modern War Institute and its athletic teams.

He has also dedicated funds to works of charity of the catholic faith.

George Richards, a reporter for the Miami Herald, collaborated with this information.


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