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.

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Politics
5:46 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

U.S. Reconsiders Troop Withdrawal Plan In Afghanistan

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 12:40 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And we're going to talk more now about the decision to keep about 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan through the end of this year. NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman is here in the studio.

Welcome, Tom.

TOM BOWMAN, BYLINE: Hey, Audie.

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National Security
3:24 am
Thu March 19, 2015

As Women Try Out For Armor Units, 'If You Can Hack It, You Can Hack It'

Lance Cpl. Brittany Dunklee talks with her fellow Marines.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 5:03 pm

It's a recent morning out in California's Mojave Desert, and Marine Lance Cpls. Paula Pineda and Julia Carroll are struggling to pick up and maneuver Carl. He's a 220-pound dummy, and a stand-in for a wounded Marine.

Carroll's knees buckle for a moment, but as a dusty wind picks up, the two women pull Carl off their light armored vehicle. They carry him to safety, careful not to let his head drag on the rocky ground.

Both women are out of breath.

Pineda is 5 foot 2. On the back of her helmet is a piece of masking tape with the words "Mad Max."

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National Security
3:22 am
Tue March 17, 2015

In Intense Desert Training, Marine Women Fight For Place On Front Lines

Female and male Marines prepare for a live-fire exercise at Twentynine Palms, a training camp in the Mojave Desert.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 5:03 pm

In the dry and craggy hills of California's Mojave Desert, Capt. Ray Kaster tries to shout over the din of a machine gun to be heard by Alpha Company, the unit of Marines he's working with during a month of rigorous instruction at Twentynine Palms training center.

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World
4:38 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Islamic State Fighters Hold Tikrit As Military Assault Enters Second Week

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 8:07 pm

Islamic State fighters are mounting stiff resistance in Tikrit, Iraq, as Iraqi troops and Shiite militias, some of them backed by the Iranian government, join in on the assault on the city. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, was in Baghdad as the Pentagon backed away from plans to take the city of Mosul, Iraq, from Islamic State militants.

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Law
4:10 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Petraeus Agrees To Plead Guilty To Improperly Handling Classified Information

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 6:25 pm

In 2011, retired Gen. David Petraeus allegedly gave several books with classified information to his biographer Paula Broadwell, with whom he was having an affair. He later was forced to resign as CIA director.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Iraq
5:38 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Advised By Iran's Military, Iraqi Forces Launch Effort To Retake Tikrit

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 12:19 pm

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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National Security
4:56 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Up First For Secretary Of Defense Ash Carter: Afghanistan And ISIS

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 6:40 pm

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Middle East
5:09 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Despite Coalition Partners, U.S. Has Done Most Airstrikes Against ISIS

Originally published on Sat February 7, 2015 2:24 pm

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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The Two-Way
12:27 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

U.S. Classifies Some Basic Statistics About Afghan Security Forces

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 12:35 pm

The American command in Afghanistan has for the first time in six years classified detailed statistics about the Afghan security forces — everything from equipment and training to attrition.

Gen. John Campbell, who is leading the NATO coalition's non-combat mission in Afghanistan, said he now considers all that sensitive operational information that could help the Taliban.

Campbell said he decided to classify details about the Afghan forces because they could be used by insurgent fighters to threaten both Afghan and U.S. forces.

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Middle East
4:34 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

How A Single Town In Syria Became A Symbol Of The War Against ISIS

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 8:23 pm

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Middle East
4:24 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Yemen In Chaos Amid Reports Of Government's Collapse

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 9:27 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Iraq
4:51 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Hundreds Of U.S. Military Trainers Headed For Iraq

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 7:34 pm

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Parallels
4:56 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

After Years Of Conflict, U.S. Mission Shifts In Afghanistan

U.S. Gen. John Campbell (left) and Command Sgt. Maj. Delbert Byers open the Operation Resolute Support flag during a ceremony at the International Security Assistance Force headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan on Sunday.
Massoud Hossaini AP

Originally published on Thu January 1, 2015 6:01 pm

On this last day of 2014, America's troops in Afghanistan are still a combat force.

On Thursday, their mission changes.

"We will be ending our combat mission in Afghanistan, obviously because of the extraordinary service of the men and women in the American armed forces," President Obama said during a recent visit with Marines and their families in Hawaii.

But there will still be more than 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

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National Security
4:35 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

CIA Director Disputes Findings Of Senate Interrogation Report

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 6:39 pm

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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National Security
12:44 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Senate Panel's Report On CIA Calls Harsh Tactics Ineffective

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 5:16 pm

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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National Security
4:58 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

New Details Emerge In Failed Yemen Hostage Rescue

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 10:49 am

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Sports
4:57 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Texas Teams (Correctly) Shut Out Of New College Football Playoffs

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 9:35 am

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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U.S.
10:29 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Secretary Of Defense Hagel To Resign

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 1:02 pm

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Back At Base
3:42 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Combat Training: Can Female Marines Get The Job Done?

Katie Gorz (left) performs the ammo can lift next to male Marines as they go through the combat fitness test. The Marine Corps is experimenting with inserting some women into combat infantry roles that have historically been limited to men. At Camp Lejeune, female Marines are undergoing the same training as their male counterparts for combat arms.
Travis Dove for NPR

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 9:46 am

NPR — along with seven public radio stations around the country — is chronicling the lives of America's troops where they live. We're calling the project "Back at Base."

Lance Cpl. Jasmine Abrego is an office clerk who dreams of becoming a warrior.

She's flat on her stomach in the dirt, in full combat gear. Suddenly she pops up, slings a 44-pound metal tripod on her back and lurches forward in a crablike run. Finally, she slams the tripod to the ground. A male Marine slaps a .50-caliber machine gun into place.

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Iraq
4:32 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

White House Will Send 1,500 Military Personnel To Iraq

Originally published on Fri November 7, 2014 8:11 pm

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