Rachel Levine becomes first openly transgender four-star officer across uniformed services

Levine previously served as health secretary of Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — U.S. Assistant Health Secretary Rachel Levine was ceremonially sworn in as a four-star admiral on Tuesday, making her the nation’s first openly transgender four-star officer across all of the uniformed services.

Levine served as the Pennsylvania secretary of health from 2017 up until she was tapped by President Joe Biden this past January.

She is now the highest-ranking official in the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps and its first-ever female four-star admiral.

The USPHS Commissioned Corps is the first in line to defend the country against public health threats. Levine now leads 6,000 USPHS officers.

“This is a momentous occasion,” Levine said in a statement, “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.”