42 USC 207 - Grades, ranks, and titles of commissioned corps

(a) Grades of commissioned officers 
The Surgeon General, during the period of his appointment as such, shall be of the same grade as the Surgeon General of the Army; the Deputy Surgeon General and the Chief Medical Officer of the United States Coast Guard, while assigned as such, shall have the grade corresponding with the grade of major general; and the Chief Dental Officer, while assigned as such, shall have the grade as is prescribed by law for the officer of the Dental Corps selected and appointed as Assistant Surgeon General of the Army. During the period of appointment to the position of Assistant Secretary for Health, a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service shall have the grade corresponding to the grade of General of the Army. Assistant Surgeons General, while assigned as such, shall have the grade corresponding with either the grade of brigadier general or the grade of major general, as may be determined by the Secretary after considering the importance of the duties to be performed: Provided, That the number of Assistant Surgeons General having a grade higher than that corresponding to the grade of brigadier general shall at no time exceed one-half of the number of positions created by subsection (b) of section 206 of this title or pursuant to subsection (c) of section 206 of this title. The grades of commissioned officers of the Service shall correspond with grades of officers of the Army as follows:
(1) Officers of the director gradecolonel;
(2) Officers of the senior gradelieutenant colonel;
(3) Officers of the full grademajor;

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(4) Officers of the senior assistant gradecaptain;
(5) Officers of the assistant gradefirst lieutenant;
(6) Officers of the junior assistant gradesecond lieutenant;
(7) Chief warrant officers of (W4) gradechief warrant officer (W4);
(8) Chief warrant officers of (W3) gradechief warrant officer (W3);
(9) Chief warrant officers of (W2) gradechief warrant officer (W2); and
(10) Warrant officers of (W1) gradewarrant officer (W1).
(b) Titles of medical officers 
The titles of medical officers of the foregoing grades shall be respectively
(1)  medical director,
(2)  senior surgeon,

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(3)  surgeon,
(4)  senior assistant surgeon,
(5)  assistant surgeon, and
(6)  junior assistant surgeon. The President is authorized to prescribe titles, appropriate to the several grades, for commissioned officers of the Service other than medical officers. All titles of the officers of the Reserve Corps shall have the suffix Reserve.
(c) Repealed. Pub. L. 96–76, title III, § 304(b), Sept. 29, 1979, 93 Stat. 584 
(d) Maximum number in grade for each fiscal year 
Within the total number of officers of the Regular Corps authorized by the appropriation Act or Acts for each fiscal year to be on active duty, the Secretary shall by regulation prescribe the maximum number of officers authorized to be in each of the grades from the warrant officer (W1) grade to the director grade, inclusive. Such numbers shall be determined after considering the anticipated needs of the Service during the fiscal year, the funds available, the number of officers in each grade at the beginning of the fiscal year, and the anticipated appointments, the anticipated promotions based on years of service, and the anticipated retirements during the fiscal year. The number so determined for any grade for a fiscal year may not exceed the number limitation (if any) contained in the appropriation Act or Acts for such year. Such regulations for each fiscal year shall be prescribed as promptly as possible after the appropriation Act fixing the authorized strength of the corps for that year, and shall be subject to amendment only if such authorized strength or such number limitation is thereafter changed. The maxima established by such regulations shall not require (apart from action pursuant to other provisions of this chapter) any officer to be separated from the Service or reduced in grade.
(e) Exception to grade limitations for officers assigned to Department of Defense 
In computing the maximum number of commissioned officers of the Public Health Service authorized by law to hold a grade which corresponds to the grade of brigadier general or major general, there may be excluded from such computation not more than three officers who hold such a grade so long as such officers are assigned to duty and are serving in a policymaking position in the Department of Defense.
(f) Exception to maximum number limitations for officers assigned to Department of Defense 
In computing the maximum number of commissioned officers of the Public Health Service authorized by law or administrative determination to serve on active duty, there may be excluded from such computation officers who are assigned to duty in the Department of Defense.