Winthrop's John Sikora, a U.S. Navy Chief Machinist's Mate, has been promoted to Chief Petty Officer, an honor which, according to the Navy, only one in five eligible sailors achieve each year.

Sikora graduated from Winthrop High School in 1998, and is currently serving with the Mid Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center.

“Being selected to chief petty officer means everything,” said Sikora in a release from the Navy Office of Community Outreach . “My whole Naval career I strived for this.”

Achieving the title of ‘Navy Chief’ is a major honor and milestone.  According to Navy Personnel Command, there are only 8.5% of sailors currently serving at the chief petty officer rank.

To be selected for this promotion, sailors must be a petty officer 1st 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 they score high enough on the exam. Once the exam is passed, their 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 took care of my sailors and they took care of me,” said Sikora. “They made this happen for me."

“I want to thank my wife, kids, my parents and aunt and uncle for all their support,” added Sikora.