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Award-Winning Journalists Tara Copp, Jacqueline Feldscher, Jen Hlad, and Caitlin Kenney Join Defense One

Brand Expands Editorial Team to Support Growing Coverage of Military Branches

April 22, 2021

Washington, DC (April 22, 2021) — Defense One, the award-winning national security-and-military-news brand of Government Executive Media Group (GEMG), announced today the addition of several key editorial positions to bolster coverage of the military service branches. With 77% of Defense One’s audience coming from the executive branch, Congress, and the military, its editorial coverage keeps those in government informed about critical issues facing their sector.

Tara Copp, an award-winning member of the Pentagon press corps, joins the newsroom as Senior Pentagon Correspondent, leading coverage of the military service branches. Jacqueline Feldscher joins as Senior National Security Correspondent to cover a wide range of issues and leaders at the Pentagon and related agencies and offices in Washington. Caitlin Kenney, as Staff Reporter, will also cover news related to service branches. Jennifer Hlad will be a News Editor, helping to manage the newsroom’s expanding volume of original journalism. These four new hires follow February’s addition of Elizabeth “Libby” Howe, who as Assistant Editor is contributing reporting, digital production, and social media posting. 

Copp comes to Defense One with an impressive background in defense reporting and investigative journalism. She served most recently as National Military and Veterans Reporter for McClatchy newspapers, during which her exclusive investigations into military aviation accidents and cancers striking special operations forces deployed to a toxic base in Uzbekistan resulted in Congressional hearings and new legislation. Copp was honored with the American Legion’s 2020 Fourth Estate Award earlier this month. Before that, Copp was Pentagon Bureau Chief for Military Times and a Pentagon correspondent for Stars and Stripes. Copp also served as a Senior Defense Analyst at the U.S. Government Accountability Office, where she monitored the drawdowns of forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Previously, she worked at Jane’s Defense Weekly, the Austin American-Statesman, and in Texas for Scripps Howard News Service. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, and has a master’s degree in security studies from Georgetown University. 

As Senior Correspondent, Copp will report on breaking stories and provide insightful context on U.S. troops, from Washington, DC, to forward operating bases. Such reporting supports Defense One’s mission to continue growing its focus on the military’s service branches alongside its production of renowned coverage and commentary on the national and global events driving politics and policy, the defense industry, and science and technology. 

Jacqueline Feldscher joins Defense One as Senior National Security Correspondent. She comes to the organization from Politico, where she was National Security and Space Reporter. Prior to that, Feldscher covered defense issues in Congress and at the Pentagon for the Washington Examiner, the Washington Times, and Navy Times, covering the Navy and Coast Guard. She’s a graduate of Boston University, and holds a master’s in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Jennifer Hlad will join Defense One as News Editor, where she will guide assignments, coverage, and news production. Hlad was a Stars and Stripes reporter at the Pentagon in 2012 and 2013 before traveling with her Marine Corps husband to posts in Manama and Okinawa, all the while working a mix of assignments with StripesDaily BeastMilitary Times, and as a Senior Editor for Air Force Magazine and AFA publications. In her previous roles, she covered the environment for Capital News Service in Annapolis, Maryland, and the Military and Interactive Content Editor for the Daily News in Jacksonville, North Carolina; and was Carolina Living Editor at The Globe, at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. She is a graduate from the University of Georgia, and holds a master’s degree in journalism from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. 

Caitlin Kenney joins Defense One as Staff Reporter on the services beat along with Tara Copp. Kenney has been a Pentagon reporter for Stars and Stripes since 2018. Before that, she was a Producer at ConnectingVets, and a Reporter and Digital Producer at the Coastal Courier Newspaper, in Georgia where she embedded with 3rd Infantry Division soldiers in Poland and Gabon. Prior, she worked with public affairs at Nellis AFB, and reported for WAMU here in Washington, D.C. Kenney is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she received her B.A. in Journalism magna cum laude.

“It’s a new era for Defense One. We are so excited to have Tara, Jacqueline, Jen, Caitlin, and Libby join our newsroom,” said Executive Editor Kevin Baron. “Tara has a well-earned reputation for  important and exclusive reporting and storytelling. She and Caitlin, who already has made a mark on the beat, will make a great team to launch our expanded coverage of military service branches.”  

“Likewise, Jacqueline is well-known from the Pentagon to Congress and the White House thanks to her leading coverage of space news lately, and defense issues going back many years. I’m thrilled to have her talents on our team. It’s also great to have Jen back in Washington and coming on to help us as an accomplished editor. And Libby is already rocking the desk, contributing original reporting, and refreshing our social media presence. Four of these five remarkable women come from military families, so they know intimately the impact national policies have on Defense One readers.” 

Defense One has been growing its reach, from editorial to events, with 80% year over year monthly page views and 50% year-over-year average time on defenseone.com. These new hires will expand the organization’s service coverage to include three new weekly newsletters focusing on Navy, Air Force/Space and Army. Defense One is also increasing its content creation across its podcasts and events, including relevant and timely topics particular to the service branches such as Sensors in Space, Next-Gen Fighter Jets, Tomorrow’s Missiles, The Next Warship, and Autonomy in Land Warfare and the Future Soldier. Building on the success of its 2020 inaugural “State of Defense” Event program, Defense One will bring back the month-long event that provides dedicated weeks to each branch of service.

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About Defense One

Defense One is a digital and events media brand informing the U.S. defense and national security leadership community by delivering news, breaking analysis, and ideas on the topics and trends defining the future of defense and national security. Part of Government Executive Media Group, Defense One offers new voices and innovative, fearless commentary while providing national security leaders, influential professionals, stakeholders, and interested citizens across the defense spectrum with the information that they need to know.

Media Contact
Liz Stein

lstein@govexec.com | (240) 461-3053

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