How to Tell Military Time?

Affiliate disclosure: In full transparency – some of the links on our website are affiliate links, if you use them to make a purchase we will earn a commission at no additional cost for you (none whatsoever!).

It suffices to say that time is the most valuable thing, whether you assign any money value to it or not. How to manage time is one of the main issues people, have always stressed upon.

Time management is a skill most people need to learn, as in order to survive these cut-throat competition tasks need to be accomplished on time.

Most of the people are not acquainted with how to tell military time. The term “military time” also famous as “soldier’s time” is a synonym for the 24-hour clock. In crux, the main difference between regular and military time is how the hours are expressed.

Military time operates on a 24- hour clock that begins at midnight, which is referred to as 0000 hours. In order to avoid the confusion between a.m. and p.m. hours, the airlines, public transit, and the armed forces use military time. Let’s dig more into the concept of the following points-

Understand the 12-Hour and 24-Hour Time Systems

Basically, there are two main systems for telling the time, the 12-hour and the 24-hour. Under the 24-hour clock system, the hours of the day run, midnight to midnight. The midnight military time, in the case of 24- hour time notation is 00:00.

What is midnight in military time, usually confuses people? Midnight is sometimes rendered at 24:00 to indicate the end of the day.

The 24-hour clock is popular around the world, and was adopted first by the US Navy in 1920, and then by the Army in 1942, during WWII.

Basics of Military Clock in Order to How to Tell Military Time

Military Time leaves less room for confusion than the standard time. Military Time can only be shown on digital clocks like the Military Time Clock. Round analog clock dials with their 12-hour dials are not adequate for displaying military time. The countries like UK, Germany, Canada, etc. use military time as their main time format. Example-

  1. 12:00 a.m. is usually referred to as both 0000 and 2400 hours.
  2. 7:00 a.m. is referred to as 0700 hours.
  3.   1 p.m. is 1300 hours.
  4.  The midnight is sometimes pronounced as “Twenty-four hundred hours”.

In simple words, for a military time that’s 1300 or larger, simply subtract 1200 to get the standard time.

Details about Hours and Minutes in Military Time

How to read military time and to speak it out can be tricky. In order to find out, what time is it military time, just keep in mind the following key connotations.

  1. Using particular words- Always use “hundred” instead of “thousand.” So 0700 would be spoken “zero seven hundred.” 5 PM would be “seventeen hundred hours.”
  2.  1000 would be spoken as “ten hundred” not “one thousand.
  3. Pronunciation with minutes- To say time with minutes, simply pronounce each number. E.g.  0215 is “Zero Two Fifteen Hours”. 0418 will be “Zero Four Eighteen “.
  4.  Use of colon- While writing a military time, don’t place a colon between the hour and the minute.
  5. Use of “hour”- Using the word “hours” is optional. It will vary by what branch of the military you will be dealing with. However, while making a formal communication use of the word “hours” is recommended.
  6.  Using “zero”- Saying “zero” is a part of military communication protocol.
  7. Using the word “Oh”- In a more colloquial pronunciation Zero is replaced with “Oh”. Let’s say for 0700 it will be oh seven hundred!

Conversion of Regular Time to Military Time

Once you become fluent with how to write military time and its basics, the military time conversion becomes a piece of cake. The simple trick is to use the first two digits to get the a.m. hour, and the last two digits to get the minutes to convert into military time.

A)   For example, 0750 hours means 7 hours and 50 minutes, or 7:50 a.m.

B)  1030 hours means 10 hours and 30 minutes, or 10:30 a.m.

The military time conversion chart is as follows:

TimeMilitary Time Equivalent
Midnight (12 a.m.)0000 hrs
1 a.m.0100 hrs
2 a.m.0200 hrs
3 a.m.0300 hrs
4 a.m.0400 hrs
5 a.m.0500 hrs
6 a.m.0600 hrs
7 a.m.0700 hrs
8 a.m.0800 hrs
9 a.m.0900 hrs
10 a.m.1000 hrs
11 a.m.1100 hrs
12 p.m.1200 hrs
1 p.m.1300 hrs
2 p.m.1400 hrs
3 p.m.1500 hrs
4 p.m.1600 hrs
5 p.m.1700 hrs
6 p.m.1800 hrs
7 p.m.1900 hrs
8 p.m.2000 hrs
9 p.m.2100 hrs
10 p.m.2200 hrs
11 p.m.2300 hrs

Just keep a note of the few basics of military time chart in order to find out that what time is it in military time-

1)      For hours below 10, you just add a zero in front of it. So 9:00 a.m. becomes 0900. Or let’s say for 8:00 a.m. it is 0800 hours.

2)    A number greater than 1200, implies that you have reached the afternoon hours. Thus, for a military time that’s 1300 or larger, simply subtract 1200 to get the standard time.

3)      Add 1200 to any time from 1:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. in order to convert standard time to military time. E.g.  To say 5:30 p.m. in military language, add 1200 to 5:30 to get 1730.

Understanding the Term “Zulu.”

Zulu is used in the military and in navigation generally as a term for Greenwich Mean Time. It is used in conjunction with military time. It’s the same time everywhere on earth i.e. all over the planet it is the same time.

The letter Z may be used as a suffix to denote a time being in the Zulu Time Zone, such as 06:00 Z. It is spoken as “zero six hundred Zulu.”

Zulu time is basically used when it comes to operational matters. There are many other time zones used by military references, but Zulu is used most common amongst them.


Military Time leaves less room for confusion than Standard Time. Thus, it is the time format preferred by the scientific, medical and military communities, and is also used by railroads and airlines. E.g. “You need to report to duty at 0700,” would mean you have to be at work at 7:00 AM.

Once you get an overview and understand the basics thoroughly, how to tell military time is no harder to learn.  Once practiced it becomes the second nature, and slowly even the mental conversion becomes easier.

Set your devices to a 24-hour clock and keep the practice mode on, to understand it faster. Wave off all the confusion by using military time and say bye to the civilian 12-hour clock.

arun singh

Arun Singh is a experienced server management geek and he has more than 8 years of experienced handling hosting server and he do sometimes share his knowledge in digital marketing. He currently with private company in Mumbai, India and he handles server management at

1 thought on “How to Tell Military Time?”

  1. Thanks for sharing this. Using military time can seem confusing at first, but it really does get easier the more you use it. After long enough, most people begin to wonder why everyone doesn’t use military time.


Leave a Comment