Manning will remain in Army after prison release, maintain benefits

Bradley/Chelsea Manning

Update: Manning released from Fort Leavenworth military prison at 2 AM

The transgender Army private who was sentenced for the unauthorized possession and distribution of secret military documents and videos will remain in the Army after being released from prison this week.

Chelsea Manning, previously known as Bradley Manning, will remain an active-duty, unpaid soldier, eligible for health care and other benefits following release from the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas on Wednesday.

“Chelsea has already served the longest sentence of any whistleblower in the history of this country. It has been far too long, too severe, too draconian,” a statement from his/her lawyers read. “President Obama’s act of commutation was the first time the military took care of this soldier who risked so much to disclose information that served the public interest.”

While Manning’s court-martial conviction is under appeal, he/she will maintain his/her rank of private in the Army.

“Pvt. Manning is statutorily entitled to medical care while on excess leave in an active duty status, pending final appellate review,” Army spokesman Dave Foster said to USA Today.

Manning was originally sentenced to 35 years in prison and was not eligible for parole for another six years.  The Army has refused to disclose details about the terms of his/her release from prison. The Army cited privacy concerns as the excuse.

The Army stated that Manning will be assigned to an Army post but has not said where yet.

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