Since 2015, I’ve been the deputy editor for Defense One, the military-and-national security publication of GovExec, where I assign and edit most articles by our news staff, and curate and edit contributed op-eds.
For a year before that, I was managing editor for product development at Defense News. I developed and produced digital and print products for an international multimedia news organization that covers military procurement and the global defense industry. Among other things, I helped create Defense News Minute, a weekly short video series; edited a monthly email newsletter on military training and simulation systems; and produced a weekly Arabic-language e-newsletter. Etc. Every once in a while, I went on TV (here’s an appearance on “Defense News with Vago Muradian” talking about data project that revealed gaps at USAspending.gov) or moderated panels (like this 2012 foreign-policy discussion between Eric Edelman, Dov Zakheim, and Rudy deLeon).
I also built @DoDContractsBot, a twitterbot that totes up the values of the major Pentagon contracts announced each day, and tweets the sum.
For three years, I was the editor of Armed Forces Journal, an magazine of analysis and commentary on the military questions of the day. The nation’s oldest military-themed publication, it was founded in 1863 as the weekly Army Navy Journal.
In 2012, AFJ was named one of the nation’s top-10 small-circulation magazines by the American Society of Business Press Editors. That same year, we published “Truth, Lies & Afghanistan,” which was cited later that year when its author, Lt. Col. Daniel Davis, received the Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling.
Before that, I was Defense News’ managing editor, running a newsroom of six Washington reporters, three copy editors, and 15 reporters and stringers around the world.
And before that, I created and ran the newsroom for Military.com, which in 2001 became the first online-only publication granted a Pentagon press pass. (I also hacked together a web scraper in Perl to help compile a morning newsletter.)
I reported for Navy Times for three years, traveling all over the globe to cover the U.S. Navy at work.
I cut my daily-journalism teeth at the Annapolis Capital, covering military issues when I wasn’t filling the weekly page about a neighborhood just north of the Severn River.
I’ve written two books.
- No Higher Honor: Saving the USS Samuel B. Roberts in the Persian Gulf, about a warship that struck an Iranian mine in 1988. (Naval Institute Press, hardcover, 2006; paperback, 2013.) Added to the U.S. Navy’s professional reading list in 2013.
- Around The World with the U.S. Navy, a look at the fleet in the final years of the 20th century. (Naval Institute Press, 1999.)
I have a Soviet and Eastern European degree from Yale, which renamed its Russian Studies major in 1990 and had to change it back in 1992. (Oops.) After graduating, I programmed the water jet cutter for a company that made Major League Baseball replica jerseys. Then I moved to Moscow, arriving just after Boris Yeltsin hauled down the Soviet flag over the Kremlin and departing just before the attempted coup in 1993. (One of my freelance articles was published in the first issue of the Moscow Times.)