|Convert military time to AM/PM time|
To effectively convert military time, you'll have to be familiar with the military time chart, military time zones, reading, and "speaking" military time. The extra effort that goes into fully understanding military time might seem mundane or useless, but once you know how and when to use the lingo, military time is the clearest form of time. It spans across timezones, cities, states, languages, and in times of crisis, it can save your life.
Military Time is a time format using a 24 Hour Time system that eliminates the need for the designations A.M. and P.M.. Military Time is sometimes referred to as 24 Hour Time but this is incorrect. They are similar, but have nuance that can't be skipped.
Military Time is used today for one reason: razor-sharp clarity. This time format was adopted by the Navy in 1920 and is currently used by US military, first responders, aviation, hospitals and other organizations. It eliminates the need for AM or PM notations as Military Time works from the 24-hour clock.
|Military Time||Regular Time|
Reading Military Time is similar to 24-hour clock but takes a little knowledge on key points:
0030 = "Zero Zero Thirty Hours" or "Zero Dark Thirty Hours"
Military Time ends at hour 23. Don't let this confuse you. 2359 is the latest the clock will go. Like the 12-hour clock, 11:59 PM is the latest the clock turns until morning. Just understand there is no 2400 (that's 00:00)
Fun Facts: For international Military Time, clarify your hours by adding a timezone. See Military Time Zones below. The Military Time Zone uses a phonetic alphebet and is stated after the hour format.
Since you can now read military time like a cadet, it’s time to talk like one too. Speaking military time is just as important as reading and calculating it. This is how the army, hospitals, first responders, and all industries that use military time clearly distinguish time.
It’s a common language that doesn’t change with distance or location.
This is a bit different than a normal clock.
You express the time using the full hour, from 00 to 23 which show how many hours passed since midnight, followed by “hundred”, then minutes, followed by “hours”. In the full statement, you should also include the time zone, respectively. If you are saying a time crossing borders or in multiple time zones, you absolutely must use the military time zone chart. It may not be necessary if both parties are in the same time zone.
The military uses a phonetic alphabet to identify time zones. These codes are important for accuracy and dependability. This allows us to understand the context behind time. 0800 hours Bravo is a completely different time than 0800 hours Yankee. The fundamental principle is measuring time around the earth and having agreed upon definitions in order to remain clear and organized.
Below are all the military time zones and the corresponding offset. Again, think about why this is important. If you are in a crisis and relaying information from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Wyoming, your team should not need to calculate time or definitions. It needs to be predetermined so when your teammate says “17 hundred 30 hours Whiskey” you know exactly what they mean.
|Time Zone Name||Letter||UTC offset|
|Yankee Time Zone||Y||UTC-12|
|X-ray Time Zone||X||UTC-11|
|Whiskey Time Zone||W||UTC-10|
|Victor Time Zone||V||UTC-9|
|Uniform Time Zone||U||UTC-8|
|Tango Time Zone||T||UTC-7|
|Sierra Time Zone||S||UTC-6|
|Romeo Time Zone||R||UTC-5|
|Quebec Time Zone||Q||UTC-4|
|Papa Time Zone||P||UTC-3|
|Oscar Time Zone||O||UTC-2|
|November Time Zone||N||UTC-1|
|Zulu Time Zone||Z||UTC±0|
|Alpha Time Zone||A||UTC+1|
|Bravo Time Zone||B||UTC+2|
|Charlie Time Zone||C||UTC+3|
|Delta Time Zone||D||UTC+4|
|Echo Time Zone||E||UTC+5|
|Foxtrot Time Zone||F||UTC+6|
|Golf Time Zone||G||UTC+7|
|Hotel Time Zone||H||UTC+8|
|India Time Zone||I||UTC+9|
|Kilo Time Zone||K||UTC+10|
|Lima Time Zone||L||UTC+11|
|Mike Time Zone||M||UTC+12|
Converting from Military time to 12-hour (AM/PM) time is a straight-forward equation with the hour format (HH), and minute format (MM) and a few military notations.
Step 1. Identify if HH is greater than or less than 12
This is important because Military Time doesn't use AM or PM to denote morning or afternoon. This is intentional. Military Time serves a direct purpose in clarifying time of day and time zone without possible confusion of AM or PM. In order to convert the time, we need to distinguish if the number is before or after midday. If the number is smaller than 1200, it's the morning. If it's greater than 1200, it's the afternoon. Remember, Military Time will always have four digits, including the times early in morning like 7am which would be 0700 Hours.
Example: 1700 Hours.
17 is greater than 12 which denotes its afternoon
Step 2: If greater than 12, subtract 12 & add PM
Now we need our time in the right format. If the number is greater, noting the afternoon, subtract 12 and remove "hours". This will give us the afternoon hour based on a 12h time clock. Then insert the minutes and add PM to identify after midday.
Step 3: If less is less than 12, add AM
Now after completing Step 1 you find the number to be less than 12, we are in the morning. On Military Time, morning starts at 0000 and ends at 1200. This is essentially the same format as the 12 hour clock except you will see leading zeros before the hour digit. Remove the leading zero and ad AM.
Military Time is sometimes incorrectly synonymous with the 24-hour clock.
The military Time does work from a 24 hour clock format with a few distinct differences:
Military time can be mistakenly called the 24-hour time.This format will look very similar to Military Time but will have hours and minutes separated by the traditional colon. Neither Military time nor the 24-hour clock uses AM or PM in their displays.
All using military time will synch their clocks and watches to a master clock. The Department of Defense (DoD) uses one clock, also known as the atomic clock (mighty cool nickname), to ensure pinpoint accuracy and that all teams are using the exact same time. The Precise Time Department (PTD) part of the U.S Naval Observatory has maintained a Time Service Department since 1880. Modern electronic systems like navigation depend heavily on precise time and time interval (PTTI) and work from what we now call the USNO Master clock.
The hours before noon will look very similar to a 12 hour clock. Military times from 0001-1159 are all part of the AM style except there is no colon and it's spoken in hours.
Coverting military times in the afternoon are the hours between 1200-2359. Remember, converting time means you have to add from 12 because we are past the twelveth hour in the day. And just like converting time in the morning, military time is spoken with "hours" at the end.