Military Time Chart – The 24 Hour Clock – Learn More About The Military Time Definition, Usage, History, And The Way To Read This Time-Telling System As Well.

Have you ever heard of military time? If so, do you know how to read easily and quickly? Here in this article, you will read the further explanation about this system in rather great detail as well as the complete military time chart to get yourself to understand it better.

Military Time Chart - The 24 Hour Clock Military Time

What Is Military Time?

For someone who is not really familiar with the military time system or heard it for the first time, they may have to stop for a while and count to translate it to a common time arrangement. Unless for those who grew up in a household with a military background, the chance is they aren’t used to how time is told on the military.

The hours in the entire day are typically divided into A.M and P.M by civilians. This is called a 12-hour system because a full day with a 24-hour is split into two. The thing is different with the military, where the members operate 24-hour, starting at midnight or 0000 hours. By this time-telling structure, 1 A.M is 0100 or zero-one hundred hours in the morning, while 11 P.M is 2300 or twenty-three hundred hours in the night. The hours afternoon or 12 P.M are added with 12 hours according to the standard by the military. The examples of this are 1 P.M is 1300; 2 P.M is 1400, and so on.

Why Is Military Time Used?

It’s easy to see why this 24-hour time format is adopted by the military – because it is more precise and can prevent misinterpretation of time. It helps to avoid confusion between similar hours in the morning (A.M) and evening (P.M). The reason why confusion is preventable by using military time is that there is no repetition of numbers.

Time interpretation becomes more convenient because of this military format. Not to mention, the 24-hour system is actually extremely common across the globe and often used in various industries – particularly those that require precision and accuracy time-telling. Even in some countries that use a 12-hour clock, the 24-hour clock is utilized in several fields.

This time tracking method is widely used not only by the military. It is used as well by the government, astronomers, meteorologists, hospitals, public transportation, computers, as well as emergency services’ employees. For instance, the medical industry uses a 24-hour clock in general for health care documentation to avoid ambiguity in writing a medical history of patients and drug administrations.

Military Time History

The term Military Time started to be popular during World War II, where armies put concern in telling time without mistakes. However, the system itself far proceeded during the WW II period. Here is the history of how military time is created:

Egyptian Era

Back then, unsurprisingly, the format wasn’t called the 24-hour clock. However, a similar system was found to be used around 2100 BC on the 11th Egyptian Dynasty’s tombs. The 24-hour clock by Egyptians was based on temporal hours, which were defined by the intensity amount of sunlight during the day and night, with the same amount of 12 hours for each part.


Hipparchus was the name of an astronomer that lived around 140 – 120 BC. He was the one who proposed the idea of how time shouldn’t depend on seasons, so the time should stay the same even when seasons change. It was a groundbreaking change because the 24-hour clock finally adopted the equinoctial method. This hour-determining base specified that 1 hour is comprised of 60 minutes and a day is divided into equal hours of day and night. Until now, the 60-minute time frame is still used in the modern world.

World War I

As time goes by, the 12-hour clock is widely used. This format spread fast because it was considered as easy and convenient to remember. It also eliminated the confusion between 12 o’clock at midnight and at noon, as each number of the hour is equipped with A.M and P.M to accommodate time difference and conversion.

World War II

During World War II, armies from different countries began to realize the importance of using the 24-hour format by learning from WW I experiences. However, it wasn’t adopted by all of them. For instance, the US Army only started to adopt the 24-hour clock format officially on July 1, 1942.

How Do You Read Military Time?

By looking at the military time chart that is provided in the next section, you will see that the day ended at 23:59 and a new day started after midnight at 00:00, which sometimes also written as 24:00. Both 00:00 and 24:00 are acceptable. For instance, while the 12-hour clock format will write 2 P.M to 12 P.M midnight, the 24-hour clock format will write it as 14:00 to 24:00.

However, according to the military method of telling time, the hours are read like numbers. An example of this is how 09:00 is stated as ‘zero nine hundred’, or alternatively ‘oh nine hundred’. It also has to be noted that military time stamps are written with the absence of colon, so 09:00 is written 0900.

For everyday usage of this time format, military members always refer to local time. If army personnel says to “complete the duty at zero five hundred (0500), then you need to finish the task given at five A.M in the local time zone. “Report to The Commander at sixteen hundred (1600) hours” implies that you have to visit and give a report to Commander’s office at four P.M in the local time zone. Military also acknowledges Daylight Savings Time when utilizing local time based on the country or the state that they currently located in.

Military Time Zones

The members and bases of the military have to coordinate with each other in terms of operational matters like deployments, communications, aircraft flights, ship movements, training exercises, and many more. Sometimes they are located in different time zones. In order to prevent confusion related to the time, the military utilizes a standard time zone based in Greenwich, England, and named it Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Although this is the common name used by civilians, the military personnel themselves called it Zulu Time and symbolized it with Z that stands for Zulu.

Make a communication about time referred easily, every single time zone is given on alphabet letter. The Greenwich, England as the standard is given Z as mentioned above because Zulu is the phonetic Military Alphabet for Z. Another example is the US East Coast area that’s denoted with Romeo or R.

As if it’s not confusing enough, there is a change in numbers when the Daylight Savings Time (DST) is involved. Normally, US East Coast will be five hours late compared to GMT, but during the 2nd Sunday in March and the 1st Sunday in November, the difference between both regions will be six hours. During Daylight Savings Time (DST), The East Coast wouldn’t be denoted with Romeo (R), but with Quebec (Q).

Complete Military Time Chart

Below is the military time chart table that provides you with a side-by-side comparison between the standard 12-hour clock format and military time format. This table can be used as a reference when you need to convert hours into military time format.

Standard Time Military Time Standard Time Military Time
12:00 AM / Midnight 0000 / 2400 12:00 PM / Noon 1200
1:00 AM 0100 1:00 PM 1300
2:00 AM 0200 2:00 PM 1400
3:00 AM 0300 3:00 PM 1500
4:00 AM 0400 4:00 PM 1600
5:00 AM 0500 5:00 PM 1700
6:00 AM 0600 6:00 PM 1800
7:00 AM 0700 7:00 PM 1900
8:00 AM 0800 8:00 PM 2000
9:00 AM 0900 9:00 PM 2100
10:00 AM 1000 10:00 PM 2200
11:00 AM 1100 11:00 PM 2300

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) & Answers

What Is Military Time Chart?

It is a chart table that informs about the 24-hour clock format used by the military instead of the standard 12-hour clock format where any hours after 12 P.M is added with 12 hours until 0 A.M.

How Do You Display Military Time?

Military time uses four digits format. Similar to a standard digital clock, there are two digits that represent hours and the other two digits that represent minutes. It is also read similar to numbers like 1300 (thirteen hundred).

Is It 24 00 Or 00 00?

Both are correct, but 0000 (zero hundred hours) is typically used to refer to the beginning of the day, while 2400 (twenty-four hundred hours) is typically used to refer to the end of the day.

What Time Is 9 30 In the Military?

0930 is read as nine hundred thirty hours or 9 A.M in 12-hour clock format.

What Time Is 15 30 In The Military?

1530 that read as fifteen hundred thirty hours or 4.30 P.M in 12-hour clock format

What Time Is 23 30 In Military?

2330 that read as twenty-three hundred thirty hours or 11.30 P.M in 12-hour clock format.

Military time may look like typical 24-hour format at first – and in some regions in the United States, 24-hour clock format is indeed being referred to as military time. However, it is entirely correct as the stamps and pronunciation are not quite the same as you can see on the military time chart table provided above.

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