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First Trans Admiral Appointed Officer of USPHS Commissioned Corps

Sabeen Shalwani Oct 20, 2021  

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On Tuesday, October 9, 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) made history by ceremonially swearing in Admiral Rachel Levine as a four-star admiral of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps. Not only is Admiral Levine the first-ever female four-star admiral, but she is also the first-ever transgender four-star officer in the United States. Levine is now the highest-ranking openly transgender official, and the sixth four-star admiral in the corps’ history, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

HHS Official Statement

“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) publicly announced today the nation’s first openly transgender four-star officer across any of the eight uniformed services of the United States. Admiral Rachel Levine, who serves as the HHS Assistant Secretary for Health and head of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps, was ceremonially sworn in as a four-star admiral. Admiral Levine now serves as the highest ranking official in the USPHS Commissioned Corps and its first-ever female four-star admiral. Admiral Levine will lead 6,000 Public Health Service officers who are dedicated to serving our nation’s most underserved and vulnerable populations.

Today’s historic announcement builds on the accomplishments of LGBTQ+ History Month and is a major step forward as we work to create a more inclusive society.

For more information, please review the materials below:

Admiral Rachel Levine's Statement

“I am humbled to serve as the first female four-star officer of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and first openly transgender four-star officer across any of the 8 uniformed services. This is a momentous occasion and I am pleased to take this role for the impact I can make, and for the historic nature of what it symbolizes. May this appointment be the first of many like it as we create a more inclusive future."

- U.S. Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Health, Admiral Rachel Levine


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