Tom Philpott has been breaking news for and about military people since 1977. After service in the Coast Guard, and 17 years as a reporter and senior editor with Army Times Publishing Company, Tom launched "Military Update," his syndicated weekly news column, in 1994. "Military Update" features timely news and analysis on issues affecting active duty members, reservists, retirees and their families. Tom also edits a reader reaction column, "Military Forum." The online "home" for both features is Military.com.
Tom's freelance articles have appeared in numerous magazines including The New Yorker, Reader's Digest and Washingtonian. His critically-acclaimed book, Glory Denied, on the extraordinary ordeal and heroism of Col. Floyd "Jim" Thompson, the longest-held prisoner of war in American history, is available in hardcover and paperback.
See the Military Update Archives
Tom Philpott | Dec 05, 2013
Air Force enlisted members advance to pay grades E-5 through E-7 faster than they did before recent wars, but still slower than peers in every other branch of service. That dampens total earnings over a 20-year career. The greatest career income difference tied to promotion pace is seen between Air Force and Navy enlisted because sailors ... more
Tom Philpott | Nov 30, 2013
Navy Department medical personnel are misusing an administrative separation authority called "Condition Not A Disability" on many sailors and Marines whose medical conditions should be screened through the disability evaluation system, an advocate for wounded warriors is charging. "The use of administrative discharges for conditions that r... more
Tom Philpott | Nov 21, 2013
Tasked by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to find ways to preserve force readiness amid sharply falling budgets, his comptroller and the Joint Staff have asked the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) for a plan to close all stateside base grocery stores, say military resale community sources. Time will tell if this is just the loudest warning s... more
Tom Philpott | Nov 15, 2013
Military members, retirees and veterans have a few more reasons to be wary of politicians who say their top priority is to cut federal spending. The Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday released a report of more than 100 options for reducing budget deficits. It's a timely product as House and Senate conferees strive to negotiate by mi... more
Tom Philpott | Oct 24, 2013
Keeping the military as combat ready as possible, during this period of budget chaos, will require an accelerated force drawdown starting in 2014, the Defense Department's chief financial officer explained Tuesday. That will mean more tumult for personnel because a steeper drawdown likely will require some involuntary separations of military... more