Born in 1936 in Dayton, Goines was one of the 40 men chosen to join SEAL Team Two and was also the only Africa-American on either team.
Goines’ pioneering feat began after seeing a film that depicted Navy frogmen, performing underwater demolition operations during World War II while he was a junior at Lockland Wayne High School.
“My fate was sealed right there. That’s exactly what I wanted to do,” Goines said, the Cincinnati.com reported.
Goines would enlist into the Navy in 1955 after receiving his diploma to begin training as a frogman. He was with five Army Rangers, two foreign Naval officers, four U.S. Navy officers, and 85 other Navy enlisted men.
According to Cincinnati.com, all the Rangers and one of the foreign officers dropped out three weeks after and when the time for graduation came in 1957, he was one of the 13 men left standing.
And then five years later in 1962, President Kennedy established the first two SEAL teams and Goines was selected after several interviews for the unit, famously known for the 2011 raid in Pakistan on the compound housing former Al-Qaeda leader and Sept. 11 mastermind Osama bin Laden.
“I was one of 40 selected to become the nucleus of future Navy SEALs,” Goines told NBC News. “I remember asking this lieutenant, ‘what was our mission gonna be? And he said, ‘It’s too secret to talk about.’”
In his over 30-year career, Goines jumped out of moving planes on stealth missions that soared as high as 30,000 feet and flew as fast as 300 mph. “We jumped out of everything,” he told the Cincinnati.com. “We even jumped out of balloons in France and Belgium, just experimenting.”
He swam for miles unassisted and survived the trenches of Vietnam after exposure to Agent Orange.