Europe captain Darren Clarke added Poulter to his backroom team, which already included Thomas Bjorn, Paul Lawrie and Padraig Harrington, after the 40-year-old was last week ruled out for four months with arthritic problems in his right foot.
Poulter is renowned for his Ryder Cup showings, having compiled an impressive record in his five appearances. In 18 rubbers, he has won 12, lost four and halved two, while he played a starring role in the Miracle of Medinah comeback in 2012.
“We have a tremendous record in the Ryder Cup in recent times, having played with passion, desire and commitment,” said Poulter.
“It is something we should be proud of and, rest assured, I will do everything in my power to maintain that intensity and help Europe’s quest to retain the trophy.
“The best moments of my career have come when I have been wearing the blue and gold crest of Europe on my chest, knowing at the same time that the contest means so much to every European player and to every European fan.
“Darren shares the same passion and I was truly honoured to be asked to be a vice-captain. Darren knows I will be there to assist him and the 12 players who will line up at Hazeltine in any way I can.”
This year’s Ryder Cup is set to take place at Hazeltine National in Minnesota from 30 September until 2 October. Europe have won the last three Ryder Cups, while their last defeat came at Valhalla in 2011.