Chelsea Manning, the US Army whistle-blower, has won a court case in her effort to be recognized as female.

A court order from the US Army Court of Criminal Appeals has forbidden the military from referring to Manning as a man, and instead must use the neutral “Private First Class Manning” or feminine pronouns. This latest victory is part of a slow advance towards Manning’s goal of transitioning, a goal that the US military has been fighting against every step of the way.

Despite being allowed to legally change her name from “Bradley” to “Chelsea” in April of last year, and with the support of two military psychiatrists, Army lawyers repeatedly contested her new identity. Last month, the US government filed a formal objection, stating that “unless directed otherwise by this honourable court, the government intends to refer to [Manning] using masculine pronouns”.