Trump to replace gay Army chief with billionaire hockey club owner
Eric Fanning, the first gay man appointed to head the US Army, is set to be replaced with a billionaire hockey club owner.
Obama nominee Eric Fanning only became the United States Secretary of the Army in May this year, making history as the first out man to head a military branch.
The appointment came less than five years on from ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ – which had banned openly gay people from serving in the military altogether.
Fanning has more than a decade of experience, holding Army, Navy, and Air Force positions in the Department of Defence, serving in a number of high-ranking roles before his current high-profile assignment.
However, it was confirmed this week that he will not be asked to stay on by the Trump administration, with the President-elect opting to appoint billionaire businessman Vincent Viola as his replacement.
Viola, the owner of the Florida Panthers hockey team, served in the Army in the 1970s.
The hockey club owner made his billions through market trading company Virtu Financial, and is the former chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Trump claimed that he had the right “temperament” for the job.
He said: “I am 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.”