Tom is a seasoned journalist with over three decades of experience reporting on national security and military issues for NPR. His extensive knowledge and unique insights make him a trusted source for in-depth analysis and thought-provoking commentary on today's most pressing global challenges.

Tom Bowman 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.

Speech topics


The US has been fighting in Afghanistan since 2001. It's the longest American war with no sign of stopping. A look at the war from the grunt level, what's working what's not working. NPR's Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman has been embedding with US and Afghan troops for a decade and provides vivid detail about what it's like to work and report from a combat zone.

Women in Combat

Women have just entered the ranks of the ground combat forces. NPR's Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman talks about the way ahead for women in combat. He spent weeks with a Marine training unit that tested women's readiness for combat. They carried hundred pound packs, scaled walls and walked for miles, before dropping down and shooting targets. Now that women are entering active-duty units, how are they doing?

The Price of War

NPR's Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman talks about the casualties of war. Tom spent weeks talking with wounded Marines about their experiences in Afghanistan. They were part of a Marine unit called "Darkhorse" a group that had the highest casualty rate in the entire Afghan war. Twenty five dead and twenty two double amputees were among the casualties. What happened to the survivors and how are they -- and their family members -- coping now, some seven years after that bloody deployment?


It was the worst Marine-on-Marine friendly fire incident in modern history. But it's not in the history books. An explosion in Fallujah, Iraq left three dead, a dozen wounded, and – for high-ranking officials – a dilemma. So, why were the families of the deceased lied to? Why did the reports mysteriously disappear? And why do survivors still have to wonder about what happened on the worst day of their lives? Taking Cover, an NPR investigative series from the Embedded podcast, isn't just a show about unraveling blue-on-blue tragedy during the Iraq war. It's about what happens when we send our young to war. It's a story of betrayal, brotherhood, and what's owed – to families, the wounded and to the American public.

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