is reporting that Bradley Manning plans to live as a woman named "Chelsea" and wants to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. 

The soldier sent a written statement to NBC's "Today" show on Thursday saying as much and asking that supporters call him by his new name and refer to him using the feminine pronoun. This announcement comes only one day after Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for sending classified material to WikiLeaks.

"As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible," the statement read.

Manning's defense attorney David Coombs told "Today" in an interview that he is hoping officials at the military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., will accommodate Manning's request for hormone therapy.

Manning's struggle with gender identity disorder -- the sense of being a woman trapped in a man's body -- was key to the defense.