Rachel Levine is the first transgender four-star officer in the United States, reports The Advocate. Levine, currently the Biden administration's assistant health secretary, was chosen to lead the 6,000-strong U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and sworn in as an admiral. The corps is a non-combatant branch of the U.S. uniformed services consisting exclusively of commissioned officers, typically called upon to provide federal support to local authorities overwhelmed by public health disasters and such.
HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said that making Levine an admiral is a proud moment for HHS. "She is a highly accomplished pediatrician who helps drive our agency's agenda to boost health access and equity and to strengthen behavioral health," Secretary Becerra explained. "She is a cherished and critical partner in our work to build a healthier America.
In response to becoming a four-star officer, Levine said, "This is a momentous occasion, and I am both humbled and 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."
Levine, who became well-known as Pennsylvania's top medical officer in the early days of the Covid pandemic, was nominated by Biden to join his administration after his election victory in 2020. All but one Republican in the U.S. Senate opposed her nomination, and her new role as a civilian commander in the uniformed services rubs it in their fucking faces.