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.

Military Time Conversion

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

Military Time Chart
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 really 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

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. NASA, in the United States, 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.

Military Time Quiz!

Spend some time trying your hand at these military time questions.

  1. In your own words, define military time.
  2. What would be 12:15 a.m. as military time?
  3. What time is 0600 hours?
  4. What is 1900 hours in 12-hour clock time?
  5. What time is 7 o'clock in the morning in military time?
  6. What is 1300 hours?
  7. How do you pronounce 0549 in military time?
  8. What time is 4:00 p.m. in military time?
  9. Please write 8:35 p.m. in military time.
  10. What one military time has two names?

Take a minute to do the work before you look at our answers below.

  1. In your own words, you might define military time as a 24-hour time format that avoids the confusion of the 12-hour timekeeping format of civilian standard time.
  2. The 12-hour clock time 12:15 a.m. would be 0015, pronounced "Zero hundred one-fife" or "Zero hundred fifteen" as military time.
  3. The military time 0600 hours is 6 a.m.
  4. In 12-hour clock time, 1900 hours in military time becomes 7 p.m.
  5. The early morning 7 o'clock time is 0700 in military time.
  6. The 12-hour clock way to say 1300 hours is 1 p.m., just an hour after noon.
  7. You pronounce 0549 in military time as "Zero five hundred fow-er-niner" or "Zero five hundred forty-nine."
  8. Our 12-hour clock time of 4 p.m. is 1600 in military time.
  9. To write 8:35 p.m. in military time, add 8 to 12 (12 + 8 = 20); 2035, pronounced "Twenty hundred three-fife" or "Twenty hundred thirty-five."
  10. Midnight has two names, 0000 or 2400, depending on its use as the beginning or end of a person's day.

What you learned:

After working your way through this lesson and video, you have learned:

  • The definition of military time.
  • Miltary time conversions.
  • How to read and write military time.
  • Why military time is used.
Instructor: Malcolm M.
Malcolm has a Master's Degree in education and holds four teaching certificates. He has been a public school teacher for 27 years, including 15 years as a mathematics teacher.

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