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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6:25pm

Sat April 18, 2015
World

Suicide Blast Kills More Than 30 In Afghanistan

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

6:34pm

Thu April 9, 2015
The Two-Way

Biden Says ISIS 'No Longer On The Move' In Iraq

Vice President Biden delivers remarks on U.S. policy in Iraq at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Vice President Joe Biden says that the self-proclaimed Islamic State is no longer on the move in Iraq.

"The jury's still out, but the momentum is in the right direction," Biden said in a speech at National Defense University in Washington, in advance of a visit next week by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Biden laid out the destructive path of ISIS — also called ISIL — citing the collapse of the Iraqi Army, the fall of Mosul and the "slaughter" and "ethnic cleansing" that followed.

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3:59pm

Wed March 25, 2015
National Security

Can Female Marines Carry The Load And Kill The Enemy?

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 8:00 pm

Sgt. Courtney White carries her machine gun before a live fire exercise at the Marine base at Twentynine Palms, Calif.
David Gilkey NPR

More than a dozen Marines from Alpha Company fan out across California's Mojave Desert, far into the distance. Machine-gun fire gives them cover. The small forms dash ahead. Some drop to one knee, others fall on their stomachs, firing at pop-up targets.

Only one woman is part of this group. Until last fall, Sgt. Kelly Brown was fueling helicopters and trucks. Now she's running with an assault rifle.

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5:46pm

Tue March 24, 2015
Politics

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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3:24am

Thu March 19, 2015
National Security

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

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

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

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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3:22am

Tue March 17, 2015
National Security

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

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

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

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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5:38am

Tue March 3, 2015
Iraq

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

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

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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5:28pm

Fri February 6, 2015
Middle East

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

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

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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12:35pm

Thu January 29, 2015
The Two-Way

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

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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5:13pm

Thu January 22, 2015
Middle East

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/.

4:51pm

Thu January 15, 2015
Iraq

Hundreds Of U.S. Military Trainers Headed For Iraq

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

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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4:26pm

Wed December 31, 2014
Parallels

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

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

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

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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12:44pm

Tue December 9, 2014
National Security

Senate Panel's Report On CIA Calls Harsh Tactics Ineffective

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

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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5:56am

Fri December 5, 2014
National Security

Obama Points To Ashton Carter For Defense Secretary

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 1:07 pm

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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10:29am

Mon November 24, 2014
U.S.

Secretary Of Defense Hagel To Resign

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

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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