Grit, Courage, and Determination: Trailblazer Janie Mines USNA ’80

Some years ago we had the privilege of meeting a dynamic USNA alumna that unknowingly at the time, would be a great inspiration to our then second Mid as well as to our whole family. Janie Mines walked into our life by happenstance – she was consulting with the company where my husband worked at the time, and as officers of the South Florida Parents Club, my husband and I invited her to one of our club meetings in commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of Women at USNA.

The room was packed with fellow parents eager to hear her story and to meet the alumna with the unique distinction of not only being a member of the first class of women at USNA, but also of being the first Black woman to commission from the U.S. Naval Academy. She wrote about her journey at the Naval Academy in her inspiring book, No Coincidences, which became a personal inspiration to me and to our daughter to whom Janie offered encouragement and insight during Plebe Summer, and who became a valuable mentor throughout our second Mid’s journey at USNA and to this day as an Officer in the fleet.

What does it take to suceed and to make it at USNA? I spoke with Janie about her journey as a trailblazer, and along with the first class of women, having set the foundation for the many female Midshipmen and women of color to follow at USNA and in the military – including my daughter.

It is my privilege and honor to speak with her about her journey and to honor her as a Trailblazer during Women’s History Month. It may be a good idea to have a pencil and paper handy for many words of wisdom – what we like to call “Janie-isms”.

“…I walk into a room because I have a right to be in that room… People are willing to be open, to work with me because I don’t make them feel uncomfortable; they don’t make me feel uncomfortable… they accept me for who I am.”

Janie Mines


Thank you Janie for your grit, courage, perseverance, determination, your servant spirit, and your character. May you continue to always shine brightly as a light for all!!

Listen to Podcast Episode 3 here: https://usnamidmomsandmore.podbean.com/e/breaking-barriers-with-janie-mines/


The video of my virtual interview is below:


Janie MInes
Janie with MidMoms at the USNA South Florida Parents’ Club 40th anniversary
of Women at USNA celebration.