Have you ever confused a meeting or appointment that was scheduled for 8 o’clock in the morning with one that was scheduled for 8 o’clock at night. Now during normal times this is not much of a problem, but when you are working on a 24-hour schedule as the United States military does it can rapidly become a problem. The solution to this is to use the militaries 24-hour clock. It is simple to understand and anybody can learn it in a few minutes.
It is based on 24 hours and is a method of keeping time that runs from midnight to midnight and is divided into 24 one hour periods.
With the 24 hour clock there is not two “four o’clock” in the military as there is with civilian time. For instance, the civilian 4:00 AM is equal to 0400 military, and 4:00 PM is equal to 1600. A couple more examples of civilian to military time is if local time is 9:27 AM, the local military time would be 0927, and it would be spoken as “Zero nine twenty seven.” If the local time was 7:36 PM, the local military time would be 1936, and it would be spoken as “Nineteen thirty six.”
The reason for this is that the military can’t take a chance on miscommunication when they are planning operations. A misunderstanding that results in a 12-hour mistake can get people killed. Any veteran will tell you that it is easy to learn and is less confusing. In an emergency in which you have to communicate with others either directly or by radio you can’t afford mistakes.
The following is a conversion chart from civilian to the militaries 24-hour clock. Take a few minutes and learn how it works.