Tom Bowman

Tom Bowman is a NPR National Desk reporter covering the Pentagon.

In his current role, Bowman has traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan often for month-long visits and embedded with U.S. Marines and soldiers.

Before coming to NPR in April 2006, Bowman spent nine years as a Pentagon reporter at The Baltimore Sun. Altogether he was at The Sun for nearly two decades, covering the Maryland Statehouse, the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Naval Academy, and the National Security Agency (NSA). His coverage of racial and gender discrimination at NSA led to a Pentagon investigation in 1994.

Initially Bowman imagined his career path would take him into academia as a history, government, or journalism professor. During college Bowman worked as a stringer at The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, Mass. He also worked for the Daily Transcript in Dedham, Mass., and then as a reporter at States News Service, writing for the Miami Herald and the Anniston (Ala.) Star.

Bowman is a co-winner of a 2006 National Headliners' Award for stories on the lack of advanced tourniquets for U.S. troops in Iraq. In 2010, he received an Edward R. Murrow Award for his coverage of a Taliban roadside bomb attack on an Army unit.

Bowman earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from St. Michael's College in Winooski, Vermont, and a master's degree in American Studies from Boston College.

Pages

Middle East
4:16 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

What Does 'Boots On The Ground' Really Mean?

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 6:08 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Hundreds of U.S. military advisers will be assisting and training Iraqi forces as part of the battle against ISIS. President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel were clear about what they will not do.

Read more
World
4:19 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Hagel, Dempsey Defend Obama's Strategy For Fighting ISIS

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 5:33 pm

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, defended the Obama administration's new strategy to fight the group called the Islamic State. The two officials were testifying before a Senate committee and were questioned on key aspects of the strategy, including whether a more U.S. troops might be needed on the ground in Iraq.

Read more
Iraq
6:40 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Far From The Battlefield, U.S. Troops Will Assist Iraqi Forces

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 1:03 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Read more
U.S.
4:12 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

With Drones In Flight Over Syria, Questions Of Airstrikes Rise With Them

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 7:28 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Read more
Iraq
4:06 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

With Initial U.S. Airstrikes A Success, Will They Expand?

Peshmerga fighters inspect the remains of a car bearing an image of the trademark jihadist flag, after it was targeted by an American airstrike in the village of Baqouba, north of Mosul. The car reportedly belonged to Islamic State militants
Ahmad Al-Rubaye AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 23, 2014 12:21 pm

Pentagon officials announced still another U.S. airstrike in Iraq on Friday. Fighter and attack aircraft hit Islamic State armored vehicles and machine guns.

That makes nearly 100 U.S. bombing runs in the past few weeks, and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said that enabled Iraqi and Kurdish forces to fight the group — also known as ISIL — around two northern Iraqi cities.

"American airstrikes and American arms and assistance helped Iraqi and Kurdish forces blunt ISIL's advances around Irbil and helped the Iraqis retake and hold Mosul Dam," Hagel said.

Read more
Iraq
6:27 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Obama Authorizes Targeted Strikes In Iraq

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 11:15 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Afghanistan
6:18 am
Wed August 6, 2014

During His First Combat Deployment, U.S. General Is Killed

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 8:02 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

National Security
7:45 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Victim Of Insider Attack, Gen. Harold Greene Was An Engineer By Training

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 9:46 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Middle East
7:20 am
Tue July 29, 2014

For Two Years, He Smuggled Photos Of Torture Victims Out Of Syria

This is one of the some 55,000 images the former Syrian military police photographer known as Caesar smuggled out of the country between 2011 and 2013. The regime used numbers — written on white cards and sometimes directly on the skin — to identify the dead, which branch of the Syrian government had held them, and when they died.
Courtesy of Syrian Emergency Task Force

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 3:01 pm

Warning: This report contains descriptions and an image that could disturb some readers.

The savage and protracted conflict in Syria has left more than 170,000 dead. Now, there are allegations of torture and killing of political prisoners opposed to the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Those allegations appear to be supported by evidence: tens of thousands of photographs.

The man who says he took the pictures worked as a military police photographer for the Assad regime and defected last year.

Read more
Politics
4:45 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Army War College Opens A Probe Into Sen. Walsh's Alleged Plagiarism

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 7:40 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages