Miami High grad earns coveted title of Navy Chief Petty Officer

Navy Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Carlos Vargas from Miami was recently promoted to Chief Petty Officer, an accomplishment that only one in five eligible sailors achieve each year.

Chief Vargas, a 2002 graduate of Miami Senior High School, currently is serving aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.

“Being selected for Chief Petty Officer means one of the most significant accomplishments in my Navy career,” Vargas said. “I am humble to become part of the group of leaders who everyone in the military wants to be.”

Achieving the title of “Navy Chief” is a major honor and milestone. According to Navy Personnel Command, there are only 8.5 percent of sailors currently serving at the Chief Petty Officer rank.

To be selected for this promotion, sailors must be a Petty Officer First Class, and successfully navigate through two qualifying factors: a job-based exam and a selection review board. A sailor’s record can only proceed to the review board after he or she scores high enough on the exam. Once the exam is passed, the records are reviewed by a panel of senior navy leaders who meet for six weeks to determine if the individuals meet the standards for selection as a chief petty officer. A sailor’s performance is evaluated for at least five years, and each sailor attributes different experiences for their selection.

“I would have to say supporting, guiding and training my junior sailors as well as listening to my superiors were factors in my selection,” Vargas. said “I spent my time leading, mentoring, and guiding sailors. I have listened to my peers, mentors, and seniors.”

During the ceremony, the honored sailors invite friends and family members to pin on the two gold anchors that adorn the newly appointed chiefs’ uniforms, while the sailor’s sponsor places the combination cover on their heads.

“I would have to say ‘thank you’ to my family and friends. For all your support and friendship,” Vargas said. “Without you I wouldn’t be in this position. I also wouldn’t have the good and bad moments you’ve shared on this journey with me.”

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