How to Read Military Time: A Useful Handbook with Simple Explanation

How to Read Military Time: Useful Handbook
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Do you know how to read and write Military Time? It looks a bit confusing but it is not so complicated. When you follow some basic rules, you will know how read Army Time with no problems. You can find a short explanation down below.

How to read Military Time? Military Time always contains 4 digits. The simple rule for reading Military Time (Army Time or 24-Hours Time Format) is to read it as two pairs of numbers. Read the first 2 numbers first and then read remaining 2 numbers. For example 1830 Military Time read as Eighteen Thirty Hours.

In general, there are two types of time formats we using. First one is 12 hour clock that is commonly used in United States and some other countries, mainly in English speaking countries.

The other one is 24 hour clock that is commonly used by all other countries. It’s also used by the military and other professionals. 24-hours time format is also known as Military Time or Army Time.

The difference between Standard Time and Military Time is that in Standard Time there are only 12 hours which are repeated a twice during day using AM and PM. On the other hand, Military Time starts from 0000 and ends with 2400 in 24-hour time format.

This is the basic information about difference between Normal Time and Army Time you should know now.

Now, it’s time to learn how to read and write Military Time.

How to Read Military Time?

Learning how to read Military Time is not as hard as you think.

Military Time always contains 4 digits and their meaning is as follow:

How to Read Military Time? Easy Explanation

As you can see from the attached image, first 2 digits (first pair) is for the hours and second 2 digits (second pair) is for minutes.

It is important to remember this splitting of hours and minutes so that you can easily learn how to read Military Time.

Reading Hours in Military Time

To read full hours without minutes in Army Time is not complicated. As you already know, Army Time always contains 4 digits, and the last 2 numbers are 00 in these cases.

It means you have to read first 2 numbers, and then add word “hundred”.

Then, all you have to watch out is if the time you want to read is higher then 10 hours or not.

  • From 0 to 9 hours you have to read first 2 numbers as “zero” and “given number”
  • From 10 to 23 hours you have to read first 2 numbers as “pair”

For example 0800 Military Time you will read as “Zero Eight Hundred Hours”. And 1500 Military time you will read as “Fifteen Hundred Hours”.

TIP: For times from 0 to 9 hours is common to read leading zero as “Oh” instead of “Zero” (you will sound more professional 🙂 ). For example 0800 Military is read as “Oh Eight Hundred Hours”.

Wasn’t it easy to learn how to read full hours in Military Time? I think you already know how to do it so let’s move to minutes.

Reading Minutes in Military time

When it comes to minutes, things become a bit more complicated, but not too much. You have to read Military Time as 2 pairs.

Just as in when you are reading hours, you have to be aware is if the minutes that you want to read are higher than 10 or not.

  • From 0 to 9 minutes you have to read the second pair as “zero” and “given number”
  • From 10 to 59 minutes you have to read the second pair as “pair”

Let’s show some examples for a better explanation.

So for example 1805 Military Time is read as “Eighteen Zero Five Hours”. You will either read 1345 Military Time as “Thirteen Forty-Five Hours”.

TIP: For minutes from 0 to 9, it is also common to read leading zero as “Oh” instead of “Zero”. For example 0605 Military Time is read as “Oh Six Oh Five Hours”.

How to read Army Time: Useful Chart with Pronunciation

To help you easily figure out how to read “basic” hours in Military Time, I created this simple table with pronunciation explanation of each time. So, if you are still not sure how to read Army Time check this table down bellow.

How to Read Military Time
Military Time Pronunciation
0000 "Zero-zero-zero-zero"
0100 "Zero one hundred hours"
0200 "Zero two hundred hours"
0300 "Zero three hundred hours"
0400 "Zero four hundred hours"
0500 "Zero five hundred hours"
0600 "Zero six hundred hours"
0700 "Zero seven hundred hours"
0800 "Zero eight hundred hours"
0900 "Zero nine hundred hours"
1000 "Ten hundred hours"
1100 "Eleven hundred hours"
1200 "Twelve hundred hours"
1300 "Thirteen hundred hours"
1400 "Fourteen hundred hours"
1500 "Fifteen hundred hours"
1600 "Sixteen hundred hours"
1700 "Seventeen hundred hours"
1800 "Eighteen hundred hours"
1900 "Nineteen hundred hours"
2000 "Twenty hundred hours"
2100 "Twenty-one hundred hours"
2200 "Twenty-two hundred hours"
2300 "Twenty-three hundred hours"
2400 "Twenty-four hundred hours"

I hope you find this table useful. You can feel free to download it to your smartphone or desktop in a printable version. Here is a PDF file: How to Read Military Time – Printable Chart.

How to Write Military Time?

You now know how to read Military Time, so let’s learn how to write it.

It’s important for you to know that different professional organizations and groups write Military Time in different ways. But, you should know that learning how to write Military Time is easier then learn how to read it.

Here are some examples:

  • Hours and Minutes

Example: 1341 hours or 13:41 hours

The format with no colon between hours and minutes is the most simple way to write Army Time. It is used by armies and emergency services. On the other hand, the format with a colon is used by other professionals like engineers or scientists and others. The second format is called the standard 24-Hour Time Format.

  • Hours, Minutes and Seconds

Example: 1341:55 hours or 13:41:55 hours

As you can see, seconds are always separated by a colon. And, as in the previous case, the army and emergency services don’t use the colon between hours and minutes, but other people do use it.

You can see from these examples you have to follow one rule only, and that is: seconds are always separated by a colon.

To sum up this topic: you should know the classic Military Time is writťen without colon between hours and minutes.

And that’s all you need to know about how to write Military Time.

Military Time Converter: Simple Online Tool

Since you already know how to read and write Army Time, you probably want to know how to convert Military Time to Standard Time and vice versa.

It can take some time to learn how to convert these two time formats, and that’s the reason why I created simple and useful online tools that help you to convert any time you want online.

I created two tools. First one is for converting Military to Standard Time and the second one from Standard to Military Time.

Using this tool is really simple, and the instructions are written below:

  • Choose one of the tools
  • Enter the time you want to convert
  • Click on the option “Convert now”
  • You receive your result in a moment

You can use these two converters right now:

Converter from Military Time to Standard Time:

Convert Militry Time to Standard Time
Standard Time:

Converter from Standard Time to Military Time:

Convert Standard time to Military Time
Military Time:

Request: Can you please reply to this poll? It would really help me, thank you!

Would you like to get these tools in a simple mobile app?

Question: Do you know what does AM stand for?

Did you ever wonder what AM means and where it originated?

The abbreviation “AM” comes from Latin words “Anti Meridiem”. The translation to English means “before midday”. So we use this abbreviation to describe that we are talking about time from midnight to midday.

TIP: In case you want to understand how to make the conversion from Standard Time to Military Time for specific times check out these posts with a short explanation for the specific military time conversions.

Question: Do you know what does PM stand for?

The abbreviation “PM” comes from Latin words “Post Meridiem”. This abbreviation means “after midday” in English. So as you know, we use PM for hours from midday to midnight.

Now you know what AM and PM stand for. You also know these abbreviations are not used in Military Time because they cause misunderstandings.

How to Read Military Time: Conclusion

I hope you are already military time expert after reading this article, and reading and writting Army Time is no problem for you anymore.

Here is a short summary of what we learned:

  • Read Military Time as “2 pairs” when hours are from 10 to 23 and minutes are from 10 to 59
  • Read Military Time as “Zero” and “Given number” when some the of hours and minutes is from 0 to 9
  • To sound more professional use “Oh” instead of “Zero” for 0
  • Seconds are always separated by a colon
  • Classic Military Time doesn’t use a colon between hours and minutes

And that’s all! If you are still interested in topics related to Military Time feel free to visit other articles in the categories below:

Military Time Tools

About Military Time

Military Time Conversions

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