Janie Mines USNA ’80: Honoring a Trailblazer, Women’s History Month

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 throughout our second Mid’s journey at USNA.

I wanted to speak with Janie about her journey. She remains a trailblazer having set the foundation, along with the first class of women, for the many female Midshipmen and especially for women of color at USNA and in the military. It is my privilege and honor to have been able to ask her about her journey and to honor her as a Trailblazer during this Women’s History Month. 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 courage, your perseverance, your servant spirit, and your character. May you continue to always shine brightly as a light for all! My video of the virtual visit with Janie is below and stay tuned – Podcast to come soon!

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