Chelsea Manning, the US solider convicted of espionage for leaking national security secrets, will remain an active duty solider after her release from a military prison, according to multiple reports.
Manning, a transgender soldier whose sentence was commuted by President Obama, will not be paid after her 17 May release from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, but will be eligible for healthcare benefits, the Army told USA Today.
She will remain an Army private while her court-martial conviction is under appeal, Dave Foster, an Army spokesman, told the paper.
Manning will continue to have access to commissaries – or special grocery stores tailored to servicemen and women and their families – and military exchanges, which are retail stores operated on military bases.
'Pvt. Manning is statutorily entitled to medical care while on excess leave in an active duty status, pending final appellate review,' a US Army spokesperson told USA Today.
In an interview with The Guardian from her prison cell at Fort Leavenworth, Manning said: 'I'm looking forward to breathing the warm spring air again.
"I want that indescribable feeling of connection with people and nature again, without razor wire or a visitation booth. I want to be able to hug my family and friends again. And swimming – I want to go swimming."
Manning is expected to live in Maryland when she finally walks free – the same state where she sent WikiLeaks the classified military and diplomatic documents that landed her in prison.
The 29-year-old had served seven years of a 35-year stretch when Barack Obama commuted her sentence right before he left the White House.