On May 31, 1995, Shayne McGinty graduated from Louisiana Tech University and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. While on active duty, Shayne was stationed at Camp Pendleton, California, and served as an Air Support Controller, Senior Air Director, and Squadron Operations Officer.In 2002, as a Captain, Shayne joined the Marine Corps Reserves. Upon completing the Reserve Infantry Officers Course in Quantico, Virginia, Shayne served as a Rifle Platoon Commander, Weapons Platoon Commander, and Company Executive Officer of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 23rd Marines of Bossier City, Louisiana.
On October 11, 2004, while serving as Platoon Commander in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II (OIF II), Captain McGinty and his platoon held off a relentless enemy force in upwards of 100 insurgents for six hours until reinforcements from the company could reach his position.
With complete disregard for his own safety, through countless volleys of machine-gun fire and landing as close as 10-meters from his position, Captain McGinty placed himself in the direct line of enemy fire and remained exposed to personally ensure that his platoon's defenses were properly emplaced while directing over 20 precision airstrikes within 75-meters of his platoon's position.
After three platoons of reinforcements arrived, 17 straight hours of fighting, and over 40 hours without any sleep, Captain McGinty refused any food or rest and continued to direct close air attacks in support of the company's operations.
Not only did Captain McGinty's unrelenting valor over these two days save the lives of his Marines, but it paved the way for the Second Battle of Fallujah and earned him the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V" for distinguished service, the military's fourth-highest decoration for valor.
"He demonstrated bold leadership and superb level-headedness under fire and performed far beyond what was expected of a Platoon Commander. By his bold initiative, undaunted courage, and complete dedication to duty, Captain McGinty reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service."
After returning home from Iraq, Shayne was selected to serve as Commanding Officer of Bravo Company.
Following his promotion to Major, Shayne served as the Assistant Operations Officer for 1st Battalion, 23rd Marines based in Houston, Texas. Upon being promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, he assumed command of 3rd Battalion, 24th Marines.
In 2017, Shayne was promoted to Colonel and retired three years later after 25-years of serving his country. In addition to the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V" for distinguished service, Shayne also received the following awards throughout his service:
Even as a well-decorated high-ranking leader of Marines whose courage goes without saying, just like so many before him, Shayne too struggled with transitioning to life after the military. All too often, those who are so willing to face the enemy in combat leave behind the battlefield only to fall victim to an enemy that lurks in the shadows of the mind, daring to be seen. A perpetual state of battle that many will encounter, but few will survive.
It was through this struggle that Shayne would find inspiration and lay the foundation for MCG Wood Works.
Kelly Watkins enlisted in the United States Air Force on February 3, 1983 and served on active duty as a Machinist at Dover Air Force Base from 1983-1986 and then Barksdale Air Force Base from 1986-1990. During this time, he achieved Apprentice, Journeyman & Master Technician and successfully completed Advanced Machinist School.
In June of 1990, after serving two enlistments on active duty, Kelly transferred to the USAF Reserves and remained at Barksdale Air Force Base. However, his days on active
Continuing his career path as a machinist, Kelly became part of a major realignment within the maintenance community, which combined Machinists and Metal Processors (welders) to create what is now known as Aircraft Metals Technology. Often selected to support high priority operations for Global Strike Command, B-52 Engineering Teams, and the 49th Test & Evaluation Squadron, this field is responsible for the design, fabrication, and repair of parts for aircraft and ground support equipment as well as custom tooling for maintenance & testing personnel such as Jet Engine Mechanics, Munitions & Weapons Technicians, Aircraft Armament Specialists, and more.
Kelly served as an Aircraft Structural Repair Technician from 2000-2001, then returned to Aircraft Metals Technology shortly before being activated in direct support of Operation Enduring Freedom from December 2001 to September 2002.
In 2004 the Metals Technology Work Center became a stand-alone operation. Kelly became the first supervisor for this facility and retired as such nearly 17 years later.
In 2019, with retirement only two years away, Kelly began creating his own works of art such as plaques, trophies, firepits, and various home décor pieces for the possibility of a profitable post-retirement hobby.
While browsing Facebook for products related to metalworking, Kelly stumbled across a video from MCG Wood Works displaying their custom wooden flags. Kelly reached out to Shayne, and not long after, the two combined their skillsets and formed what is now known as MCG Wood & Metal Works.