Captain Bowdish earned his PhD in Political Science in 2013 with subfields in Public Policy and International Relations, specializing in Foreign Policy and International Conflict. He teaches courses on Insurgency, Guerilla Warfare and Terrorism, State Terror, The Causes of War and Peace, Comparative Government, International Security, Public Policy Methods and Models and Public Issues in America. His research interests include international security, terrorism, insurgency, guerilla warfare, strategy, propaganda, the psychology of war termination and the causal mechanisms that lead to capitulation in conflict. He has published a wide range of articles and book chapters on such topics as the revolution in military affairs, psychological operations, terrorism, maritime and space strategy and is currently at work on a book about terrorist propaganda. He has presented at the NATO Center of Excellence for Defense Against Terrorism and the Joint Forces Staff College on Terrorism and Irregular Warfare as a featured speaker.
Bowdish is also a retired Navy Captain and combat veteran. He graduated from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, in 1981, earning a B.A. in Psychology. From 1982 to 1985, he served as Damage Control Assistant in USS RATHBURNE (FF 1057). After his initial sea tour, he attended the Naval Postgraduate School, where he earned a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering in 1988. Sea tours as Engineer Officer in USS HAROLD E. HOLT (FF 1074) and Material Officer for Commander, Destroyer Squadron 35 followed. During Operation DESERT STORM, while attached to DESRON 35 embarked in USS LEFTWICH (DD 984), he participated in the capture of Qaruh Island, the takedown of Khawr al Amaya Oil Field, the assault on Dorrah Oil Field, and the destruction of the Iraqi surface fleet during the Battle of Bubiyan Island. From 1992 to 1994, Captain Bowdish was assigned to the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command as the Deputy Program Manager for Afloat Cryptologic Systems. After earning a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in 1995, he reported to USS HAWES (FFG 53) as Executive Officer, where he participated in Operation SHARPGUARD and Black Sea operations in the multinational exercise “Breeze.” During the exercise, Captain Bowdish led a medical rescue team to a Ukrainian frigate to save two sailors severely injured in a gun explosion. Captain Bowdish was a Federal Executive Fellow at the RAND Corporation from 1996 to1997. He then served on the OPNAV staff, Strategy and Concepts Branch (N513), as the Concepts Branch Head until 1999. Upon his selection as a Legislative Fellow, he served a one-year tour in the Office of Congressman Ike Skelton (D-MO). From 2000 to 2001, he commanded USS SIMPSON (FFG 56), highlighted by SIMPSON’s last battle group deployment with the GEORGE WASHINGTON Battle Group and Maritime Interdiction Operations in the Arabian Gulf. He also served in the Nuclear Arms Control Division, J-5 of the Joint Staff from 2001-2002. He finished his military career on the faculty of the USMC Command and Staff College from 2002-2006, with his retirement from the Navy in August, 2006.