Tom Bowman 2010
Doby Photography/NPR
Tom Bowman 2010
Doby Photography/NPR

Tom Bowman

Pentagon Reporter

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.

[+] read more[-] less

Pentagon Investigates Airstrike That May Have Hit Syrian Soldiers

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/494538458/494538459" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

U.S. Airstrike In Syria Throws Wrench In Cease-Fire Plans

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/494487311/494487312" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Abuse Of Recruits Revealed At Parris Island Marine Training Center

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/493965899/493965900" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

U.S.-Russia To Coordinate Airstrikes Against ISIS

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/493721815/493721816" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A U.S. Predator drone sits on the tarmac at the Kandahar military airport in southern Afghanistan in 2010. The U.S. has been using drones more and more frequently since the Sept. 11 attacks. They have been highly effective on the battlefield, but have raised legal and ethical issues. Massoud Hossaini /AP hide caption

toggle caption
Massoud Hossaini /AP

The Rise Of The Drone, And The Thorny Questions That Have Followed

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/493004533/493073658" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Donald Trump Unveils Detailed National Security Proposals In Philadelphia

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/493009996/493009997" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Biden To Try To Smooth U.S. Relations With Turkey

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/491170115/491170116" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Turkish special force police officers stand guard next to a banner picturing the late Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (left) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as people wave Turkish national flags during a rally this week in Istanbul against the failed July 15 coup. Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images

U.S. Begins Airstrikes Against Islamic State Fighters In Libya

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/488273983/488273984" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

An Afghan soldier stands at a mortar training range near Kandahar, Afghanistan. The Afghan forces are still receiving help from the U.S. as they battle the Taliban. This photo was taken by NPR's David Gilkey shortly before he was killed by the Taliban on June 5. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
David Gilkey/NPR

Afghanistan: A Tragic Return To A War With No End

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/483839687/484987336" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Afghan Governor Wants Government To Control Poppy Crop

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/484894669/484894670" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

U.S. Military Trainers Teach Afghan Troops To Wield Artillery

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/484832486/484832487" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

After 15 Years, The State Of The War In Afghanistan

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/484756591/484756592" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Marine Corps Misidentified Man In Iconic Iwo Jima Photo

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/483426405/483426421" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

An Afghan commando stands on the tarmac, wearing night vision gear. The elite commandos are about to fly into an area controlled by Taliban fighters. Their mission: to sweep a village for Taliban fighters. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
David Gilkey/NPR

Under U.S. Air Cover, Afghan Commandos Chase The Elusive Taliban

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/480149634/480397655" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript