# Military Time — Conversion & How To Read

Written by
Malcolm McKinsey
Fact-checked by
Paul Mazzola

## What is military time?

Military time is a day clock that measures hours to 24 instead of 12 hours like civilian time. Military time is used to avoid confusion between a.m. and p.m. hours. The 24-clock is used by militaries, most European countries, and businesses engaged in 24-hour operations, like airlines and railroads.

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## Military time conversion

Here is a conversion chart converting regular time to military time and how you would read or say that military time.

12-Hour Civil Time 24-Hour Military Time How To Say Military Time
12:00 Midnight 0000 Zero hundred hours
1:00 a.m. 0100 Zero one hundred hours
2:00 a.m. 0200 Zero two hundred hours
3:00 a.m. 0300 Zero three hundred hours
4:00 a.m. 0400 Zero four hundred hours
5:00 a.m. 0500 Zero five hundred hours
6:00 a.m. 0600 Zero six hundred hours
7:00 a.m. 0700 Zero seven hundred hours
8:00 a.m. 0800 Zero eight hundred hours
9:00 a.m. 0900 Zero nine hundred hours
10:00 a.m. 1000 Ten hundred hours
11:00 a.m. 1100 Eleven hundred hours
12:00 p.m. 1200 Twelve hundred hours
1:00 p.m. 1300 Thirteen hundred hours
2:00 p.m. 1400 Fourteen hundred hours
3:00 p.m. 1500 Fifteen hundred hours
4:00 p.m. 1600 Sixteen hundred hours
5:00 p.m. 1700 Seventeen hundred hours
6:00 p.m. 1800 Eighteen hundred hours
7:00 p.m. 1900 Nineteen hundred hours
8:00 p.m. 2000 Twenty hundred hours
9:00 p.m. 2100 Twenty-one hundred hours
10:00 p.m. 2200 Twenty-two hundred hours
11:00 p.m. 2300 Twenty-three hundred hours
12:00 Midnight 0000 Twenty-four hundred hours

### Midnight in military time

In the 24-hour format, midnight has two designations, 0000 and 2400:

1. If your day begins at midnight, you use 0000 in military time, pronounced zero hundred hours.

2. If your day ends at midnight, you end your day at 2400, pronounced 24 hundred hours.

## How do you read military time?

Military time read and spoken to four digits. A leading 0 is read or spoken for the first 12 hours of the day. On radio and for maximum clarity, every digit is spoken. When reading or in casual conversation, times can be read as three- or four-digit numbers:

• 0000 – Midnight and the start of the day is called "Zero hundred hours."

• 0100 – One a.m. is "Zero one hundred hours."

• 0630 – 6:30 a.m. is "Zero six-thirty," or (better) "Zero six-three-zero."

• 1045 – 10:45 a.m. is read or spoken as "Ten hundred forty-five" or "Ten hundred four-five."

• 1159 – A minute before noon is "Eleven hundred fifty-nine" or "Eleven hundred five-niner."

Spoken numbers follow the custom of the NATO Phonetic Alphabet, so their pronunciation is exaggerated:

• 3 becomes "tree"

• 4 becomes "fow-er"

• 5 becomes "fife"

• 9 becomes "nin-er"

• 0 becomes "zee-ro"

## How is military time written?

Military time is written in a four-digit format. But you only need to concern yourself with the latter part of the day since the early morning hours are familiar. From midnight of a new day to noon, the 12-hour and 24-hour times are just about the same:

• 0000 – 12 Midnight

• 0100 – 1 a.m.

• 0200 – 2 a.m.

• 0900 – 9 a.m.

• 1000 – 10 a.m.

• 1100 – 11 a.m.

• 1115 – 11:15 a.m.

• 1130 – 11:30 a.m.

• 1145 – 11:45 a.m.

• 1200 – 12 noon

After reaching noon, add the first 12 hours of the day to each of the 12-hour clock times to get the military time:

• 1300 – 1 p.m.

• 1400 – 2 p.m.

• 1500 – 3 p.m.

• 2100 – 9 p.m.

• 2200 – 10 p.m.

• 2300 – 11 p.m.

• 2315 – 11:15 p.m.

• 2330 – 11:30 p.m.

• 2345 – 11:45 p.m.

• 2400 – 12 midnight

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## Why is military time used?

Military time is used to prevent confusion between a.m. and p.m. times. If you were to arrange to meet a friend at 8, how would your friend know whether you meant 8 a.m. or 8 p.m.? With military time, no confusion exists because 0800 is 8 a.m. and 2000 hours is 8 p.m.

While the U.S. military and militaries around the world use military time, so do other large operators whose business takes them through different time zones.

Airlines typically use the 24-hour clock. In the United States, NASA uses military time down to thousandths of a second.

Emergency services such as nursing homes, hospital wards, and intensive care units also use the 24-hour clock but do not refer to it as military time.