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.
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|
In the 24-hour format, midnight has two designations, and :
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:
Spoken numbers follow the custom of the NATO Phonetic Alphabet, so their pronunciation is exaggerated:
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:
After reaching noon, add the first 12 hours of the day to each of the 12-hour clock times to get the military time:
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.
Spend some time trying your hand at these military time questions.
Take a minute to do the work before you look at our answers below.
After working your way through this lesson and video, you have learned:
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