Military Time: A Complete Explainer of Military Time and Military Time Zones

Updated: May 27, 2020

Table of Contents

    Prospective military members, military spouses and civilians in fields that use the 24-hour clock need to know how to use military time. In our complete guide to military time, we cover the basics of military time, how military time zones work and provide complementary charts and downloads to keep for reference.

    What is Military Time?

    Military time is a timekeeping system based on the 24-hour clock and the primary way of telling time in the U.S. military. Instead of using the 12-hour clock, military time uses a 24-hour clock, which means that the day starts at 00:00 and ends at 23:59. The military, law enforcement, first responders, hospitals and other 24-hour businesses use military time.

    The primary benefit of military time is preventing ambiguity and confusion in high-stress environments. 

    How to Tell Military Time

    If you’re going from military time to standard time, take the number of hours and subtract 12. For example, 1300 hours to standard time is 13 – 12, which equals 1, or 1:00 p.m. For 1400, it’s 14 – 12, which equals 2, or 2:00 p.m. Keep in mind this only applies to time after 1200 hours.

    If you’re converting standard time to military, it’s the opposite. Add 12 instead of subtract, and you’ll have military time. For example, 4:00 p.m. to military time is 4 + 12, which equals 16, or 1600 hours. 

    You can also use the chart below or our military time converter here.


    Military Time Chart

    Military TimeStandard Time
    00:00 / 24:0012:00 a.m. / Midnight
    01:001:00 a.m.
    02:002:00 a.m.
    03:003:00 a.m.
    04:004:00 a.m.
    05:005:00 a.m.
    06:006:00 a.m.
    07:007:00 a.m.
    08:008:00 a.m.
    09:009:00 a.m.
    10:0010:00 a.m.
    11:0011:00 a.m.
    12:0012:00 PM / Noon
    13:001:00 p.m.
    14:002:00 p.m.
    15:003:00 p.m.
    16:004:00 p.m.
    17:005:00 p.m.
    18:006:00 p.m.
    19:007:00 p.m.
    20:008:00 p.m.
    21:009:00 p.m.
    22:0010:00 p.m.
    23:0011:00 p.m.
    00:00 / 24:0012:00 a.m. / Midnight

    Download the military time conversion chart as a Printable PDF or Printable Image.

    Military time is based on the 24-hour clock beginning at midnight (00:00) and ending at 23:59 hours. Military time eliminates the need for using a.m. and p.m. designations as standard time uses, and numbers 1 to 12 to identify the hours in a day.

    For example, 15:00 in military time is 3:00 p.m. in standard time, just like 12 p.m. is 12:00 in military time and 24:00 is midnight.

    Military Time FAQs

    Here are some common questions we receive about military time with answers.

    What is midnight in military time?

    Military time displays midnight, or 12 a.m., as 00:00, though it’s spoken as both 00:00 or 24:00.

    What is 1500 military time in standard time?

    1500 military time to standard time is 3:00 p.m.

    What is 0500 military time in standard time?

    0500 military time to standard time is 5:00 a.m.

    Why use military time?

    The military uses this standard to leave less room for confusion than a standard 12-hour clock.

    Is the U.S. military the only country that uses military time?

    No other militaries and many countries in Europe, Africa and Asia use military time as their primary time format. In some countries, both time formats get used.

    How are minutes and seconds counted in military time?

    Standard and military time express minutes and seconds in the same format. For example, 20:20 military time is 8:20 p.m. using a 12-hour clock notation. It is 20:20 (spelled out using two-zero-two-zero) using a 24-hour clock notation. Thus, 20:20 military time means that it has been 20 hours and 20 minutes since last midnight.

    Does the military observe Daylight Savings Time?

    The military observes Daylight Savings Time when it is recognized by the state or country where the time zone is being used.

    Military Time Zones

    With military operations conducted across the globe, the military clarifies time further by appending the time zone with a letter of the NATO phonetic alphabet.

    The way this works is the military divided the world into 24 time zones and assigned a letter of the phonetic alphabet to each time zone.

    For example, calling the time in Greenwich, England, would look similar to 15:00Z and spoken as “fifteen hundred Zulu.” The military uses Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and refers to GMT as Zulu (Z). You can view the military time zones and corresponding phonetic terms in the chart below.


    Military Time Zones Chart

    Zone LetterZone NameTime OffsetMajor City
    AAlphaGMT + 1 HourParis, France
    BBravoGMT + 2 HoursAthens, Greece
    CCharlieGMT + 3 HoursMoscow, Russia
    DDeltaGMT + 4 HoursKabul, Afghanistan
    EEchoGMT + 5 HoursNew Delhi, India
    FFoxtrotGMT + 6 HoursDhanka, Bangladesh
    GGolfGMT + 7 HoursBangkok, Thailand
    HHotelGMT + 8 HoursBeijing, China
    IIndiaGMT + 9 HoursTokyo, Japan
    JJulietLocal TimeLocal Time Zone
    KKiloGMT + 10 HoursSydney, Australia
    LLimaGMT + 11 HoursHoniara, Solomon Islands
    MMikeGMT + 12 HoursWellington, New Zealand
    NNovemberGMT - 1 HourAzores
    OOscarGMT - 2 HoursGodthab, Greenland
    PPapaGMT - 3 HoursBuenos Aires, Argentina
    QQuebecGMT - 4 HoursHalifax, Nova Scotia
    RRomeoGMT - 5 HoursNew York, NY United States
    SSierraGMT - 6 HoursDallas, TX United States
    TTangoGMT - 7 HoursDenver, CO United States
    UUniformGMT - 8 HoursLos Angeles, CA United States
    VVictorGMT - 9 HoursJuneau, AK United States
    WWhiskeyGMT - 10 HoursHonolulu, HI United States
    XX-RayGMT - 11 HoursNome, AK United States
    YYankeeGMT - 12 HoursSuva, Fiji
    ZZuluGMT (Universal Time)Greenwich, England

    Download the Military Time Zones Chart as a Printable PDF or Printable Image.

    Other Important Notes About Military Time Zones

    • The time zones from the United States are R – X (Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, X-Ray).
    • The 12 time zones West of the Zulu time zone (Greenwich Mean Time), starting from Zulu and ending at the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean, are November through Yankee.
    • The 12 time zones East of the Zulu time zone (GMT), starting from Zulu and ending at the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean, are Alpha through Mike.
    • Mike and Yankee zones are the same time but a day apart, on either side of the International Date Line.


    Civilian to Military Time Minutes Chart

    Civilian Time MinuteMilitary Time MinutesCivilian Time MinuteMilitary Time Minutes

    Download the Military Time to Civilian Minutes Conversion Chart as a Printable PDF or Printable Image.

    • Military minutes are not the same as civilian minutes.
    • Civilian minutes go from 0-to 60.
    • Military minutes are based on hundredths (100’s).
    • 60 minutes must be converted to 100ths.
    • Divide the number of minutes by 60 (minutes) or number of civilian minutes/60. For example:
      • 1 minute standard time = .01667 or rounded up, .02 military minutes
      • 30 minutes = .50
      • 45 minutes = .75
      • 60 minutes = 1
    • Converting civilian minutes to military time is most commonly needed when calculating payroll.

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    Written by MilitaryBenefits