WASHINGTON — Pvt. Chelsea Manning, the transgender soldier and convicted national security secret leaker, will remain an active-duty, unpaid soldier, eligible for health care and other benefits, following her scheduled release May 17 from military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, according to the Army.
Manning entered prison as a man named Bradley. Manning changed her name, identified as a woman and received hormone treatment while incarcerated. Her sentence was commuted in the final days of the Obama administration, a move that infuriated some in the military and President Trump.
While Manning’s court-martial conviction remains under appeal, she will remain a private in the Army, said Dave Foster, an Army spokesman. As an active duty soldier, Manning will continue to receive health care and have access to commissaries and military exchanges, but she will not be paid.
“Pvt. Manning is statutorily entitled to medical care while on excess leave in an active duty status, pending final appellate review,” Foster said.
The Army refused to disclose the other terms of Manning’s release, six years before her eligibility for parole, citing privacy concerns. She had been sentenced to 35 years for releasing hundreds of thousands of secret documents to WikiLeaks. Manning appeared at court martial in the uniform of an enlisted man.
Like all soldiers, Manning will be assigned to an Army post but it is unclear where and to whom she will report.
The ACLU released a statement on Manning’s behalf on May 9. “For the first time, I can see a future for myself as Chelsea,” Manning said. “I can imagine surviving and living as the person who I am and can finally be in the outside world.