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The shaft that the solenoid pushes the gear up needs lubrication. If it's been grinding too long, the bearing in the starter is worn letting the armature to rub on the field frame. Might be time for a starter motor.
I had a similar problem with my car. It turned out to be the starter motor was sticking. Put in gear and rocked it back and forward to move the pistons. Tried again to start and it worked. Eventually had to replace the starter.
I know yours isn't a car, but might be worth seeing if that works.
Some of those cadets (like those with the Command 20) have a compression release mechanism on the cam which is intended to make that engine crank easier but disengages once the engine fires up. It's a plastic part and is prone to break, resulting in a lot of strain on the starter motor. Interesting design, bad materials. Sometimes the engine will start anyway but this is not a good idea to operate this way. Pull the valve cover. Look at the motion of the exhaust valve when you turn the engine by hand. It will look similar to the motion of the intake valve if this part is broken. If it's working correctly, you should see the exhaust valve open slightly just after the intake valve closes. I'll attach a video to show what it looks like. Replacing the bad cam is a bit of work but not terrible.
You didn't indicate which engine we are working on, but here are a couple of ideas.
It is possible that the starter is weak. If this is the problem, replace the starter.
It is also possible that the compression release is not working. Try adjusting the valves back to factory specs. Good Luck!