Norman M. Covert’s first effort as a publishing entrepreneur was creating a newsletter for his church in 1955. It folded after two issues, a victim of a World War II military surplus mimeograph. It required more patience and skill than the 12-year-old possessed. He didn’t lose his love of the medium. Sixty-nine years later he can boast knowledge of “WYSIWYG,” using Apple/Macintosh or the current Gateway Windows XP driven computer.
Aside from a stint in the Newport News Shipyard, Norm has been a reporter, writer, editor, public relations professional and columnist his entire career. At Newport News High School (Class of ’61) he wrote “COVERT’S CORNER,” a sports column in “The Beacon.” His loved the staccato banter of the now defunct New York Mirror, one of Gotham’s storied tabloids. He learned, “Get it first, get it right, get it out!”
He was elevated from copy boy for the Newport News (Va.) Daily Press in 1964 to cub reporter in the Williamsburg Bureau, where he was honored by the Virginia Press Association for a series on “deadbeat” dads. He was reassigned to the sports staff in the main office. Following his return from active duty with the U. S. Army in 1969, he was appointed military affairs editor covering the multi-service commands in the Hampton Roads area. He joined U. S. Army Recruiting Command in 1971, receiving two prestigious Department of the Army Keith L. Ware awards as editor of the U. S. Army Recruiting and Career Counseling Journal. He then managed the Service Schools’ Periodicals Program for Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Monroe, Va. He became chief of public affairs and command historian at Fort Detrick, Frederick, Md. in October 1977, retiring in May 1999.
Norm has written extensively for professional and commercial publications and lectured on the subject of biological warfare and U. S. Military history. He chronicled the origins and growth of the U.S. Biological Warfare program for the Monterey Institute of International Affairs’ Encyclopedia of Bioterrorism Defense, published in June 2005 and 2007.
Among his books are: Cutting Edge, a history of Fort Detrick (fourth printing); Tree of Life, a 400-year family history; he contributed and helped produce The Covert Family; and several historical commemoratives. He has been a columnist since 2001 for www.thetentacle.com, a news and commentary website published in Frederick, Maryland, and became publisher of www.thecovertletter.com in January 2011.
Norm has appeared as historical subject matter expert in commercial and public broadcasting multi-media productions more than 20 years. He is active in fraternal, civic, youth and patriotic organizations including: National Sous Directeur Americanism (Flags for First Graders), La Societe des 40 Hommes et 8 Chevaux (40/8); The American Legion; 29th Division Association; Vietnam Veterans of America; Sons of the American Revolution (SAR); Rotary International (Paul Harris Fellow), Boy Scouts of America (Silver Beaver Award) and National Rifle Association (NRA). He also is beginning his second term on the City of Frederick (Md.) Ethics Commission and ad hoc Committee for Memorial Grounds Park.
He has completed numerous professional education courses and seminars. He attended Christopher Newport College, Newport News, and in 1980 completed the professional development curriculum at the Graduate School of Journalism, University of South Carolina, Columbia.
He and his family live in The City of Frederick.
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