James Kitfield is a contributing editor for National Journal magazine, a non-partisan weekly magazine on politics and government published in Washington, DC. He has written on defense, national security and foreign policy issues from for over two decades.
His reporting has earned him numerous awards including the Gerald R. Ford Award for Distinguished Reporting on National Defense which he has been honored with three times, most recently in 2009 for his first-hand reporting on the Afghan war as well as for his coverage of other conflicts. Mr. Kitfield is the only reporter to have won this award more than once in the prize’s 22-year history.
In 2009 the Military Reporters and Editors Association and the Medill School of Journalism also awarded Mr. Kitfield its top prize for excellence in reporting for his first-hand coverage of the war in Afghanistan. He won the same award in 2008 for his first-hand coverage of the Iraq “surge,” and in 2003 for his coverage of the Iraq invasion, becoming the only three-time winner in the history of the award. His reporting from Iraq in 2008 also garnered honorable mention in the Edgar A. Poe Awards given by the White House Correspondents Association for coverage of news of national significance.
In 2002 Mr. Kitfield received the Stewart Alsop Media Excellence Award, sponsored by the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, for his coverage of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He also received the 2000 Edwin Hood Award for Diplomatic Correspondence given annually by the National Press Club to recognize excellence in reporting on diplomatic and foreign policy issues and in 2001 was awarded a Peter R. Weitz Prize for excellence in reporting on European affairs. In 1987, Mr. Kitfield won the Jesse H. Neal Award for Excellence in Reporting from the Association of Business Publishers for an article on the vulnerability of the Navy's surface warships that preceded the tragic attack on the USS Stark by an Iraqi aircraft.
Mr. Kitfield is also the author of the book “War & Destiny: How the Bush Revolution in Foreign and Military Affairs Redefined American Power," published by Potomac Books in 2005 and is also author of "Prodigal Soldiers: How the Generation of Officers Born of Vietnam Revolutionized the American Style of War," published by Simon & Schuster in 1995.
Before moving to Washington, DC Mr. Kitfield worked in Europe for five years as managing editor of Overseas Life Magazine, a publication for U.S. service members stationed abroad. His articles have appeared in The National Interest, National Journal, Omni, Newsday, Los Angeles Magazine, Army Times, Air Force Magazine, The Stars & Stripes, Off Duty, and other publications.
Mr. Kitfield is a 1978 magna cum laude graduate of the University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism.