Daniel Solomon served in the United States Army for 6 years. Daniel climbed up the ranks during his time of service and reached the rank of Staff Sergeant.
Daniel graduated from Binghamton University in 2007 with a B.S in economics. After graduation, Daniel enlisted in the Army Reserves. Daniel’s path in the U.S Army Reserves was an exceptional one. After boot camp, he went through a plethora of training–eventually spending 47 weeks at the Defense Language Institute (D.L.I) learning Farsi.
After graduation from D.L.I, Daniel performed one tour of duty in Iraq. There, he led a small group of younger soldiers in an effort to enhance force protection and protect soldiers and civilians from terrorist threats. After one year, Daniel returned home to his family and continued his military training.
While overseas, Daniel’s thirst for knowledge grew strong. The foundation that Binghamton University helped Daniel build led to his acceptance into Columbia University, where he is currently enrolled in a dual major program to receive an MBA and a Masters of International Affairs.
Why did you choose to attend Binghamton University instead of going directly into the United States Army?
It was important to my family that I receive a college education. I had been accepted into Binghamton which was such a great opportunity and I knew the military would still be there when I was done. It turned out to be a great choice because being a bit older and having some experience living away from home made the transition to the military much easier.
What sparked your interest in joining the United States Military?
Patriotism…After the attacks of September 11th I felt helpless, then seeing US troops on TV shortly after in Afghanistan then Iraq I felt a sense of duty; the feeling that there is no reason why I shouldn’t be there supporting my country and fighting for our freedoms.
What were some of your tasks while in the military?
Training, a lot of training; weapons training, cultural training and language training. As I progressed through the ranks, in my opinion my most important task was to train and mentor the soldiers in my unit. Above all else, making sure you are there for the guy to your left and the guy to your right.
Overall, how did your college education help prepare you for life and your military career?
Going to college was the first time I lived away from home. Though the situation was much different, college dorms and army barracks have a lot in common. At Binghamton, you meet a very diverse group of people and you make friends with people from all walks of life; the Army was the same. Also, the education I received at Binghamton gave me a good framework to approach problems and driving towards solutions.
What advice do you have to share with SUNY students?
Find a way to give back, to your communities and your country. There are many ways to serve without joining the military. No matter the problems we face as a nation, we are fortunate to live in the US. There are people in this country less fortunate than others; it is our civic and moral responsibility to do what we can to give a little back. Use your education to make this world we live in a little better for our generation and the next.
Glenn is a student assistant in the Office of New Media of the State University of New York. He is an undergraduate economics and political science major at the University at Albany in Albany, NY.