Military Time Zones: A Complete Guide with Time Zones Chart and Map

Military Time Zones: A Complete Guide with Time Zones Chart and Map

Have you ever wondered why the current time in New York is different from current time in London? Why do we need Time Zones or why do we even need Military Time Zones? I try to answer these questions, so continue reading to find out.

So what are Military Time Zones? To say it simply, Military Time Zones are vertical segments of the earth that have a similar time. The Earth is devided into 24 zones which each zone having a different time. Additionally, each Military Time Zone has its own name. The most famous Zone names are: Alfa, Beta, Charlie, Delta and Zulu.

To be honest, this topic is the most complicated topic out of all that are related to Military Time. The reason for this is because there is some math and physics to understand how the Army Time Zones work. But don’t be discouraged, I try to explain everything as simply as possible.

Why Do We Need Time Zones? Simple Explanation

As you should know, our Earth is roud. That’s why it’s impossible for the Sun to shineon every part of the Earth at the same time.

The other reason why Sun can’t shine to each part of the Earth at the same time is because the Earth spins on its own axis. This is what causes the day and night to alternate.

Now think what would happen if we didn’t have Time Zones. That would mean that around the world, we would all have time same time.

For example, that would mean that it would be 0800 Military Time (8:00 AM) all around the world no matter what part of the day it is. Just imagine, people in New York would go to work at 0800 o’clock at morning, people in London would be at lunch at this time, and people in Sydney would be sleeping in the middle of the night. Weird right?

This is the main reason that we need Time Zones. So that each one of us goes to work at 0800 Military Time (8:00 AM) and not to bed or to lunch at that same time. It would be really confusing to have the same time on the clock everywhere around the world.

I hope it make more sense why we have Time Zones now.

Time Zones: Physical Principle Explanation

Long story short:

The Earth is round, and therefore it is 360 degrees around. We know we have 24 Time Zones, so each Time Zone is 15 degrees.

Imagine the earth, divided as slices of an orange, and each slice is one time zone.

But which “slice” is the master slice? The master Time Zone is Prime Meridian (also known as Zero longitude) from which all other Time Zones are determined.

What does UTC mean?

UTC means Coordinated Universal Time, and this concept was adopted in 1960. It’s a time standard based on International Atomic Time and it is started from noon. Known as Zulu Time Zone with the letter Z.

UCT replaced GMT as the World Standard for Time, but occasionally is confused with GMT, which is described below.

What does GMT mean?

GMT means Greenwich Mean Time was adopted in Great Britain by the Railway Clearing House in 1847.  This time standard is based on Earth rotation and it is started from midnight.

Greenwich Mean Time is still the Standard Time Zone for the Prime Meridian (Zero Longitude). which passes through Royal Observatory in Greenwich, Great Britain.

Military Time Zones Chart: Useful Printable Table

As I already mentioned, each Military Time Zones has its own name and related letter. These names and related letters are the same as in the Military Alphabet.

Army Time Zones are important for accurate and clear determination in military operations. This way militaries can avoid any confusion.

Zone Time Offset Major City
Alpha UTC +1 Paris, France
Bravo UTC +2 Munich, Germany
Charlie UTC +3 Moscow, Russia
Delta UTC +4 Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Echo UTC +5 New Delhi, India
Foxtrot UTC +6 Dhaka, Bangladesh
Golf UTC +7 Bangkok, Thailand
Hotel UTC +8 Hong Kong, China
India UTC +9 Seoul, South Korea
Kilo UTC +10 Melbourne, Australia
Lima UTC +11 Honiara, Solomon Islands
Mike UTC +12 Auckland, New Zealand
November UTC -1 Praia, Cabo Verde
Oscar UTC -2 Nuuk, Greenland
Papa UTC -3 Sao Paulo, Brazil
Quebec UTC -4 Halifax, Canada
Romeo UTC -5 Boston, MA United States
Sierra UTC -6 Austin, TX United States
Tango UTC -7 Phoenix, AZ United States
Uniform UTC -8 San Francisco, CA United States
Victor UTC -9 Juneau, AK United States
Whiskey UTC -10 Honolulu, HI United States
X-Ray UTC -11 Nome, AK United States
Yankee UTC -12 Suva, Fiji
Zulu UTC Greenwich, United Kingdom

Note: Furthermore it is important to remember that there is no J (Juliet) for two reasons. J is not seen as a true letter of the alphabet in Latin and J also indicates local time.

You can download this Military Time Zones – Printable Chart.

NATO Phonetic Letters

As with the Military Alphabet, the designations of Military Time Zones are also managed by NATO today. That’s why they are also known as NATO Phonetic Letters. And they are used not only by armies that belong to NATO but also by all other armies around the world.

The Time Codes are used by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Maritime Organization (IMO) as well as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); therefore, there are some slight varieties of these codes.

TIP: You can try to find out what Standard and Military Time is in the different countries around the world by this Current Military time Converter:

Current Military and Standard Time

Military Time Zones Map: Graphic Illustration

Here is a visual to show you how the Earth is divided into Time Zones. As you can see the Time Zones are determined by the borders of states because it is more convenient for everyone.

Military Time Zones World Map

In present days, not all countries follow the distribution of Time Zones hour by hour. For example countries like Iran, Afghanistan, and India use irregular time zones shifted by half an hour from neighboring countries.

Do you know how many Time Zones are in the US? There is 4 main Time Zones in United States and 2 other Zones are set for Alaska and Hawaii. So the US has 6 Time Zones in total.


TIP: In case you want to understand how to make conversion from standard time to military time for specific times, check out our posts with explanation for the specific military time conversions.

Famous Time Zones: Alfa, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Zulu

You already know the Earth is devided in to 24 Time Zones and each one has its own name and given letter.

But some of these Zones are better well-kown than others. The most famous Time Zones are:

  • Alfa Time, UTC+1
  • Bravo Time, UTC+2
  • Charlie Time, UTC+3
  • Delta Time, UTC+4
  • Zulu Time, UTC+0

Zulu Time Zone is the prime zone, known as UTC+0. The rest of them represent the time shift by one hour to the East direcion. This means that if the time in Zulu Zone is 0800Z (8:00 AM), then the time in Alfa Zone is 0900A (9:00 AM), in Bravo Zone 1000B (10:00 AM) and so on.

Army Time Zones: Conclusion

Was this topic hard to understand? I have to say that it is also hard for me to understand Military Time Zones correctly. But, I hope this article was helpful for you.

To summarize this topic, the most important points are:

  • Military Time Zones are vertical segments of the Earth that have a similar time
  • Earth is devided by 24 Time Zones
  • The main Time Zone is called Zulu, UTC+0
  • Current Time Standard (UTC) is based on International Atomic Time

Feel free to use attached Military Time Zone Chart and Maps anytime you want to gain confidence in this topic.

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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