Trump nominates Florida Panthers owner Vincent Viola as Army secretary

WASHINGTON, Dec 19 (Reuters) - President-elect Donald Trump plans to nominate Virtu Financial founder Vincent Viola as secretary of the Army, the Trump transition team said on Monday.

Viola is a West Point graduate and U.S. Army veteran who has founded companies, including the high-frequency trading firm Virtu Financial. He is a former chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange, where he began his financial services career, and is a leader in electronic trading, according to his company biography.

"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," Trump was quoted as saying in a statement from his transition team.

RELATED: Trump's official picks for cabinet and administration positions

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Trump's official picks for Cabinet and administration positions

Counselor to the President: Kellyanne Conway

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Veterans Affairs Secretary: David Shulkin

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Transportation secretary: Elaine Chao

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Energy secretary: Rick Perry

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Secretary of State: Rex Tillerson

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Secretary of Defense: Retired Marine General James Mattis

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Chief of staff: Reince Priebus

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Chief strategist: Steve Bannon

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Attorney General: Senator Jeff Sessions

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Director of the CIA: Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo

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Deputy national security adviser: K.T. McFarland

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White House counsel: Donald McGahn

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Ambassador to the United Nations: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley

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Education secretary: Betsy DeVos

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Commerce secretary: Wilbur Ross

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Homeland security secretary: General John Kelly

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Housing and urban development secretary: Ben Carson

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Administrator of Environmental Protection Agency: Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt

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Health and human services secretary: Tom Price

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Department of Homeland Security: Retired General John Kelly

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Secretary of agriculture: Sonny Perdue

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After the Sept. 11, 2001, al Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington, Viola helped found the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point.

Born to Italian immigrant parents in Brooklyn, Viola was the first in his family to attend college. He trained as an Airborne Ranger infantry officer and served in the 101st Airborne Division, the transition team statement said.

"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," Viola said in the statement. "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." (Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by W Simon and Bill Trott)

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