How to Read Military Time? Simple Explanation with Examples

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

Military Time always contains four digits. The simple rule for reading Military Time or 24-Hours Time Format is to read it as two pairs of numbers. Read the first two numbers first and then read the remaining two numbers. For example 1830 Military Time read as “Eighteen Thirty Hours”.

I understand you can still find a bit hard to read some specific hours. Let me explain to you all the possible variations. Now, it’s time to learn how to properly read Military Time.

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How to Say Military Time? Learn this Simple Trick

Learning how to read 24-Hour Time Format is not as hard as you think. You need to think about how Military Time looks like first. The easiest way to read military time is to remember this simple division of numbers in a 24-hour time format.

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

How to Read Military Time? Easy Explanation

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

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

TIP: You have two options on how to say Military Time:

  1. Read the given numbers only: for example, 1300 Military Time read as “Thirteen hundred”
  2. Read the given numbers and add word “hours”: for example, 1400 Military Time read as “Fourteen hundred hours”

Both options are correct and commonly used so you don’t be afraid when you heard the word “hours” after said time.

Watch this short but useful video about how to correctly read military time:

As reading full hours (e.i. 1500 hours) is a bit different than reading time with minutes (e.i. 1530 hours), I explain to you each this version separately.

Reading Hours in Military Time

To read full hours without minutes in this time format is not complicated. As you already know, 24-Hour Time Format always contains four digits, and the last two numbers are 00 in these cases.

It means you have to read the first two numbers, and then add the 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 the first two numbers as “zero” and “given number”
  • From 10 to 23 hours you have to read the first two 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”.

Quick 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 two 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”.

Quick 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”.

Reading Seconds in Military Time

It is not so common to see also seconds in Military Time but also as Standard Time Format, this time format that uses them.

The main difference between hours, minutes, and seconds is the seconds are separated by a colon from hours and minutes. For example, 1640:45 means 4 hours PM, 40 minutes, and 45 seconds.

Reading seconds is as same as in Standard time and minutes in Military Time. Read them as a pair and if the pair after the colon is between 00-09 then read it as “zero” (or “oh”) and given number.

Quick Tip:
You will not see seconds in classic Military Time spoken or written by soldiers. But other professions or normal people can use them.

How to Pronounce Military Time: Useful Chart

To help you easily figure out how to read “basic or full” 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 this time format check this table down below.

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 PDF.

The more you practice telling Military Time, the easier it will be. So don’t be sad or shy when it takes some time to tell Military Time. Just continue practicing and you will see results really soon.

Reading Military Time – Basics about this Time Format

In general, there are two types of time formats we use. The first one is a 12-hour clock that is commonly used in the United States and some other countries, mainly in English speaking countries.

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

The difference between Standard Time and Military Time is that in Standard Time there are only 12 hours which are repeated twice during the 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 the difference between Normal Time and Military Time you should know now.

Convert Military Time with this simple Online Tool

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

I created two tools for converting the 24-hour time format. The 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

Converter from Military Time to Standard Time

Convert Military Time to Standard Time
Standard Time:

Converter from Standard Time to Military Time

Convert Standard time to Military Time
Military Time:

TIP: To learn more about how these converters work and how to converter Military Time by yourself, visit this article:

How to Convert Military Time? Use Military Time Converter


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

Here is a short summary of what we learned:

  • Read Military Time as “two 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

This is all you need to know to be able to read this time format properly. 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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