Army to Begin Chelsea Manning's Gender Treatment

U.S. Army, Pfc. Chelsea Manning U.S. Army, Pfc. Chelsea Manning U.S. Army/AP File Photo

The Bureau of Prisons has rejected the request to transfer Pvt. Chelsea Manning from a military prison and the Army will begin gender treatment.

A defense official told the Associated Press Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has approved the Army's recommendation to keep Manning in military custody. The Army had tried to transfer Manning to a federal prison system, but those talks fell through.

The Pentagon's attempt to transfer Manning to a civilian prison for treatment – as the Defense Department doesn't have the necessary medical expertise – was unprecedented. Manning, formerly named Bradley, captured national attention as the Defense Department became mired in the dilemma of treating a diagnosed soldier without violating military policy that states transgenders cannot serve in the U.S. military. Because Manning can not be discharged from service during a prison sentence, the Defense Department must provide the hormone therapy requested.

Manning was convicted in July 2013 of violating the Espionage Act after releasing classified documents through WikiLeaks and sentenced to 35 years confinement and a dishonorable discharge from the Army.

A day after the sentencing, Manning released a written statement identifying as transgender and has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, the sense of being a woman in a man's body. 

In May, Manning released a statement regarding the potential transfer:

“I wish to clarify that my request for a treatment plan did not involve any request to be transferred. At the beginning of 2014, the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, KS and the Army Corrections Command were ready to approve and implement a treatment plan that at least conservatively met the standards set forth by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. I was content with this plan. Based on these facts I don’t understand why the Office of the Secretary of Defense would feel the need to punt this issue by transferring me.

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