Vincent Viola

We have a new nominated Secretary of the Army and I will try to avoid any obviously way too cute headlines or puns.

He is another New York billionaire from outside of the DC establishment: Vincent Viola and vincent-viola

Not much on him. Military experience is:

  1. Graduated from West Point 1977.
  2. I gather he served a full five years in the Army (bio doesn’t state, but that was the standard at the time).
  3. Is a reserve major.
  4. Has been involved in founding and funding the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point and several other projects.

Anyhow, I gather the real challenge with the Army over the last few years has been the budget. With DOD taking 50% of the sequestration cuts (which were really a big deal), it does appear that the Army took about half of those defense cuts. The nature of things is that the Army does not have a lot of big ticket production items, like F-35s and Littoral Combat Ships, that are difficult to cancel and hard to cut. Instead their costs are in personnel, which are easier to cut (except for the people who get cut). In the last 5-6 years the Army has dropped from around 570,000 to around 480,000 people and was slated to drop to 450,000. Trump has said he is bringing the Army back up to 540,000. Not sure where that figure comes from and have my doubts that it will actually occur.

See: us-military-personnel-1954-2014 and end-strength

Anyhow, the budget for the Army is not going to be determined by Mr. Viola, although it may be influenced by him. There are lots of players involved in determining the budget and balancing the budget. The Trump’s administration’s first real budget will be next year, FY2018.

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Christopher A. Lawrence
Christopher A. Lawrence

Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience.
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Mr. Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He has participated in casualty estimation studies (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgency and other subjects for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation.
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His published works include papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, in addition to over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department. He is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (Aberdeen Books, Sheridan, CO., 2015), America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam (Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia & Oxford, 2015), War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE., 2017) , The Battle of Prokhorovka (Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT., 2019), The Battle for Kyiv (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2023), Aces at Kursk (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024), Hunting Falcon: The Story of WWI German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024) and The Siege of Mariupol (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2024).
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Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

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