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First out transgender four-star military officer appointed

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Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine, already the highest level out transgender administration official, has been sworn in as the first out trans four-star military officer.

Levine was sworn in as a four-star admiral for the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps on Tuesday, Oct. 19. She is also the first female four-star admiral ever.

Levine will lead 6,000 Public Health Service officers, one of the country’s eight uniformed services and the only one dedicated to protecting, promoting, and advancing America’s public health. 

“Admiral Levine’s historic appointment as the first openly transgender four-star officer is a giant step forward towards equality as a nation,” said U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. “This is a proud moment for us at HHS. Admiral Levine — a highly accomplished pediatrician who helps drive our agency’s agenda to boost health access and equity and to strengthen behavioral health — is a cherished and critical partner in our work to build a healthier America.” 

“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,” Levine said. “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.” 

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