Tom Bowman Tom Bowman is a NPR National Desk reporter covering the Pentagon.
Tom Bowman 2010
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Tom Bowman

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Tom Bowman, photographed for NPR, 13 February 2023, in Washington DC. Photo by Mike Morgan for NPR.
Mike Morgan/NPR

Tom Bowman

Pentagon Reporter

Tom Bowman is a NPR National Desk reporter covering the Pentagon. He is also a co-host of NPR's Taking Cover podcast.

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.

Story Archive

Thursday

The U.S. Army is restructuring as the future looks more uncertain

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Thursday

An undated photo shows a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying Starlink communications satellites into orbit. The Starlink constellation is made up of thousands of satellites that are difficult for adversaries to target. SpaceX hide caption

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SpaceX

Russia is working on a weapon to destroy satellites but has not deployed one yet

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Saturday

The U.S. hit over 85 Iran-linked targets in retaliatory strikes

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Friday

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden attend the dignified transfer of the remains of three U.S. service members killed in a drone attack on a U.S. military outpost in Jordan, at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Friday. Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. hits Iranian proxies in Iraq, Syria in retaliation for deadly strikes

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Thursday

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin apologizes for keeping hospital stay, diagnosis secret

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Monday

After Jordan attack, White House says it doesn't seek war, but vows to respond

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Sunday

Jordan drone strike kills 3 Americans

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Thursday

How the U.S. military is factoring into expanding conflict in the Middle East

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Thursday

Image taken from the bridge of HMS Diamond, seen here firing Sea Viper missiles in the Red Sea on Oct. 1. The HMS Diamond along with U.S. warships successfully repelled a large attack from the Iranian-backed Houthis in the Red Sea. UK MOD/Sipa USA via Reuters Conn hide caption

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UK MOD/Sipa USA via Reuters Conn

U.S. and U.K. strike Houthi targets in Yemen

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Tuesday

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is being treated for prostate cancer

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Monday

Pentagon keeps Austin's hospitalization quiet for days from White House, Congress

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Saturday

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks during a joint press conference with Israel's defense minister in Tel Aviv on Dec. 18, 2023. Alberto Pizzoli/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Alberto Pizzoli/AFP via Getty Images

Tuesday

Israel's Netanyahu vows to press ahead in war with Hamas. U.S. urges caution

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Friday

Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., speaks during a hearing of a Senate Armed Services Committee subcommittee. A combat veteran, Kelly called on the U.S. Marines to explain why wounded troops weren't told the truth about a friendly fire incident in Iraq in 2004. Alex Brandon/AP hide caption

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Alex Brandon/AP
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Thursday

'Taking Cover' update: A senator and soldier try to get to the truth

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Tuesday

The U.S. is joining a taskforce to protect ships from Houthi attacks in the Red Sea

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Monday

People mourn as they collect the bodies of Palestinians killed in an airstrike on Monday in Khan Yunis, Gaza. The United Kingdom, France and Germany are the latest countries to call on Israel to reach a "sustainable truce" after more than two months of war in Gaza. Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images hide caption

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Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images

Tuesday

Can Ukraine continue its fight against Russia with dwindling U.S. support?

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Monday

Air Force will discipline 15 members following classified leaks in online forum

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Tuesday

Exchange of Palestinian prisoners for Hamas' hostages continues through cease-fire

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Saturday

A view of the rubble of buildings hit by an Israeli airstrike in Jabalia in the Gaza Strip on Oct. 11, days after the territory's militant rulers carried out an unprecedented attack on Israel killing hundreds of people and taking captives. Hatem Moussa/AP hide caption

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Hatem Moussa/AP

The brutal calculus of war: Is the killing of civilians ever justified?

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