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., and thrived amid the deadlines, the competition, and the personalities both at a newspaper and in the political realm. Bowman 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.

Over his career, Bowman has been honored with several awards for news writing and features, from the New England Press Association and the Maryland Press Association. He is also 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, Bowman 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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National Security
4:09 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

U.S.-Afghan Patrols Halted After Insider Attacks

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 6:09 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Insider attacks in Afghanistan have killed more than 50 U.S. and allied service members since the beginning of the year. Now they're having an effect on military operations. The American command in Kabul has temporarily halted joint patrols between U.S. and Afghan forces.

As NPR's Tom Bowman explains, that could complicate America's exit strategy, which depends on training Afghans to handle their own security.

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History
4:11 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Antietam Changed Nature Of Civil War 150 Years Ago

Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 5:39 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. We end this hour marking the bloodiest single day in American history. 150 years ago, Union and Confederate troops clashed at the small Maryland town of Sharpsburg, next to Antietam Creek. By nightfall, some 23,000 men would be dead, wounded or missing. NPR's Tom Bowman explains how this one day would change the course of the Civil War.

(SOUNDBITE OF LEAVES CRACKLING)

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History
2:45 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Antietam: A Savage Day In American History

Between two farm fields in Sharpsburg, Md., there was a sunken road, which Confederates used as a rifle pit until they were overrun by federal troops. The road has since been known as "Bloody Lane."
Library of Congress

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 8:51 am

On this morning 150 years ago, Union and Confederate troops clashed at the crossroads town of Sharpsburg, Md. The Battle of Antietam remains the bloodiest single day in American history.

The battle left 23,000 men killed or wounded in the fields, woods and dirt roads, and it changed the course of the Civil War.

It is called simply the Cornfield, and it was here, in the first light of dawn that Union troops — more than 1,000 — crept toward the Confederate lines. The stalks were at head level and shielded their movements.

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Middle East
3:45 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Afghan Troops Vetted Again After U.S., NATO Attacks

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 4:56 pm

A top U.S. general in Afghanistan says all 350,000 Afghan troops will be vetted once more in an effort to verify their loyalties and their backgrounds. Already the Afghans have removed as many as 300 Afghan troops who did not measure up. This year there has been a spate of insider attacks on U.S. and NATO troops.

Afghanistan
4:14 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

U.S. Faces Growing 'Insider Attacks' In Afghanistan

Spc. Ben Purvis (center) helps train Afghan troops on how to use mortars in the eastern province of Kunar in June. The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, points to several factors in the rise of "insider attacks" on American forces. He says relations between U.S. and Afghan troops are good overall.
Lucas Jackson Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 4:55 pm

Gunmen wearing Afghan police and army uniforms have killed 40 U.S. and NATO troops so far this year, and the top American commander in Afghanistan says there is no single reason — and no simple solution.

Taliban infiltrators, disputes between NATO and Afghan security forces, and even the timing of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, are all factors, according to Gen. John Allen.

"We think the reasons for these attacks are complex," says Allen, who spoke by video link from Kabul on Thursday. Ten of the American deaths have come in just the past two weeks.

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