U.S. Assistant Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine became the first transgender four-star officer in the uniformed services, after being sworn in Tuesday into the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had a swearing-in ceremony for Levine to make her a four-star admiral. She is now the highest-ranking official in the commissioned corps and will be in charge of leading 6,000 Public Health Service officers. (RELATED: ‘We Should Be Outraged’: Rand Paul Presses Dr. Rachel Levine On Children Transitioning Genders)
The United States Public Health Service uses NAVY ranks and is a uniformed service, but is not military.
“I am deeply honored & grateful to join the ranks of men & women across this great nation who have committed to defend the United States against small & large threats, known and unknown. I promise to uphold that trust to the fullest extent of my abilities,” Levine said in a tweet after being sworn in. (RELATED: Jen Psaki Pressed By Reporter Over Biden Nominee Rachel Levine’s Connection To Pennsylvania Nursing Home Scandal)
I am deeply honored & grateful to join the ranks of men & women across this great nation who have committed to defend the United States against small & large threats, known and unknown. I promise to uphold that trust to the fullest extent of my abilities. https://t.co/ryfwRqbAoz
— ADM Rachel Levine (@HHS_ASH) October 19, 2021
Levine was the first transgender official confirmed by the Senate in March. She faced criticism during her confirmation process over a directive she signed for nursing homes to accept patients who previously had, or were hospitalized with, COVID-19. Levine reportedly removed her own mother from the nursing home after signing the directive.