Dr. Rachel Levine Sworn in as First Transgender Four-Star Officer in the U.S.

United States Assistant Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine made history again on Oct. 19 as she became the first openly transgender four-star officer in any of the eight uniformed services in the country.

During the ceremony, Levine was sworn in as an admiral — the highest- ranking official of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, the organization service tasked with responding to medical issues and health crises like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Levine’s appointment also made her the organization’s first female four-star admiral.

“This is a momentous occasion, and I am honored to take this role for the impact I can make and for the historic nature of what it symbolizes,” Levine said in a speech.

“I stand on the shoulders of those LGBTQ+ individuals who came before me, both those known and unknown. May this appointment today be the first of many more to come, as we create a diverse and more inclusive future,” Levine further said.

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra described Levine’s appointment “a giant step forward towards equality as a nation and a proud moment for HHS.”

Levine, 63, first made history last March when she became the first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the Senate.

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