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Tom Bowman at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., September 27, 2018. (photo by Allison Shelley)

Tom Bowman

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

In his current role, Bowman has traveled to Syria as well as 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.

  • Murder charges have been filed against Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, accused of killing 17 Afghan civilians. Now, an investigative officer will decide whether there's enough evidence to go forward with a court martial, leaving a number of legal challenges ahead for the prosecution and for the defense.
  • Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the alleged shooter in last week's attacks on Afghan civilians, has been transferred to a military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. A complicated picture of his life — in the Army and back home near Tacoma, Wash. — is still emerging.
  • The killings of some 16 civilians in Afghanistan on Sunday allegedly by a U.S. soldier are raising new questions about U.S. military strategy: whether the surge of American troops worked and whether the U.S. troops have won over the Afghan people or alienated them.
  • There's been considerable debate about bombing Iran's nuclear facilities, but little talk about the logistics involved. Military experts say Israel would likely need U.S. help, and a bombing campaign would probably take weeks, not days.
  • U.S. forces intend to stay in Afghanistan through 2014. But they are preparing to launch a new approach that would put Afghan troops in the lead when it comes to fighting the Taliban. These American advisers are currently being trained at an Army base in Louisiana.
  • The U.S. military plans to steadily wind down its role in Afghanistan over the next three years. But with the recent attacks against U.S. forces, will the military have to revise its approach?
  • The U.S. military is at a turning point. It has just pulled out of Iraq, it is starting to wind down its effort in Afghanistan, it's shifting its focus to Asia, and the Pentagon budget for next year will shrink after a decade of huge increases. The defense secretary and the head of the Joint Chiefs spoke about the changes to Congress.