Bradley Manning is the name of the soldier that was formally charged with leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks. Manning is currently in prison service a 35-year sentence for leaking the documents. Manning's given name is Bradley Edward Manning and he petitioned the court recently to change his name reports USA Today.
The judge has now granted him permission to change his name to Chelsea Elizabeth Manning. Manning was unable to be in the court during the proceeding because he is serving his time at an Army prison in Fort Leavenworth Kansas.
Manning stated it was an "exciting day." Reports indicate that the court hearing lasted about a minute.
"Hopefully today's name change, while so meaningful to me personally, can also raise awareness of the fact that we (transgender) people exist everywhere in America today, and that we have must jump through hurdles every day just for being who we are," Manning said.
The name change will compel the military to change Manning's records to reflect the new name. However, the military will not have to treat him like a woman or transfer him to a female prison. Manning has filed a grievance with the Disciplinary Barracks commander at the prison over the lack of response to a request for treatment for the gender identity disorder and hormone replacement therapy. The military has stated that it doesn't provide hormone replacement therapy. Interestingly this condition would typically disqualify a solder for duty resulting in discharge, but Manning can’t be discharged while in prison.