Solomon McGinty watched his father’s military career and learned some valuable lessons.
“Hard work and discipline factor into the military,” said the 18-year-old Terry Sanford High School senior, and son of U.S. Army Special Operations Command Chief Warrant Officer 4 Paul McGinty and his wife, Bung-On.
Not only has the younger McGinty watched that career, but he also plans to follow his father’s example of service to the nation.
“(The USMA) has a good track record and their academic programs are kind of Ivy League and their sports are division one,” said Solomon, who will be the first in his Family to attend the academy.
The hard work and discipline have culminated in Solomon’s achievements across diverse areas of concentration — from excelling academically, to completing his Eagle Scout certification, to working part time as a waiter and busboy at Sawadee Thai Restaurant in Spring Lake, N.C.
Though Solomon is on hiatus from a 10-year swim career, with a portion having been spent as a member of the Fort Bragg Fighting Fish Team, he will soon resume swimming with the Fayetteville Aquatics Swim Team, all in the hopes of trying out for the West Point Swim Team, said the elder McGinty.
Even last summer, while attending the Naval Academy Swim Camp, in Annapolis, Md., Solomon received the Coaches Recognition Award and the Iron Man Award, Bung-On said. They are very distinguished awards as he competed against a pool of more than 300 swimmers from across the country.
Solomon is active in the TSHS Student Government Association, where he serves as senior class vice-president, is a member of the school’s Teen Republicans Club and has volunteered at the polls.
For his 18th birthday, Solomon completed a skydive at a Raeford, N.C., jump zone, and said he plans to pursue an airborne career.
“I definitely want to go to jump school,” McGinty said, relishing the solitude of jumping. “It’s quiet and peaceful up there.”
Also, in preparation for his military career, Paul signed Solomon up for a gun class at TigerSwan, a firearms training facility near Steadman, N.C.
What did he learn from the instruction?
“That I needed practice — everything gets better with practice,” said Solomon, who keeps himself physically fit, standing a lean 5 feet 10 inches tall and 150 pounds.
For his Eagle Scout project in Troop 776, McGinty tore down and rebuilt old flower beds at a Buddhist monastery in Cameron, N.C. Buddhism, he said, is his mother’s religion.
“The flower beds were overgrown with weeds and rotting and it coincided with what I needed for my Eagle Scout project,” Solomon said. “It gave me a sense of accomplishment because I had been doing it (in Scouts) since I was a kid, and that was a goal.”
A very busy young man, Solomon finds time to decompress and enjoy activities with his friends. He likes going to the movies, bowling and racing go-karts.
Solomon said he enjoys throttling the engine of a go-kart.
“It’s just like speeding on the highway without worrying that you are going to total your parents’ car,” he said.
As the future officer speeds towards his goals in life, where does he see himself in 10 years?
“I see myself either leaving the military or staying in for more time. But definitely putting roots down,” said Solomon.