What Is Military Time?

Military Time: The 24-Hour Clock Explained

Updated: November 8, 2020

While the military is a term that refers to a region's armed forces or soldiers, military time is just a form of keeping time. Military time is a method of timekeeping without the conventional ante meridiem (a.m.) and post meridiem (p.m.).

What Is Military Time?

Military time is a generic name for a 24-hour. There is a subtle difference between the military time used in the United States and the 24-hour time used the world over. The difference is the use of a colon (:).

21:00 and 2100 are both 24-hour times. 2100 represents the United States military time, while 21:00 represents the standard 24-hour time. When you count time from 0000 hours to 2359 hours, you are using military time.

Here time runs from midnight to midnight. The first two digits (00 and 23) represent the hours, while the last two (00 and 59) illustrate the minutes. It is the most used time notation currently in the world.

Why Is Military Time Used?

Do you get confused when a friend says I'll come around by 9? You feel the need to ask if it is 9 in the morning or nine at night, right? Military time sorts out this confusion.

Using military time, your friend would say: "I'll come around at 0900 hours or 2100 hours". 0900 hours is equivalent to 9 a.m., while 2100 hours is equal to 9 p.m.

Why Is Military Time Different From Regular Time?

The absence of a.m. and p.m. differentiates military time from regular time. Telling time using the standard time (12 hours) requires the need to specify if you mean a.m. or p.m. On the other hand, military time flows from midnight to midnight in 24 hours.

What Countries Use Military Time?

Currently, there are fewer countries that use the 12-hour clock compared to the 24-hour clock. Most of these countries were part of the former British Empire.

Since the 24-hour time has become the primary method of keeping time worldwide, the question should be, what countries do not use military time? More than eighteen countries do not use the 24-hour clock.

In America, countries that use the 12-hour clock are:

  • Canada (excluding Quebec)
  • Colombia
  • El Salvador
  • Honduras
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • United States of America

In Europe, countries that use the 12-hour time system are:

  • Malta
  • Republic of Ireland
  • United Kingdom

In Asia, countries that widely use the 12-hour notation include:

  • Bangladesh
  • Jordan
  • India
  • Malaysia
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore

In Africa, THE 12-hour clock system is used in the countries below:

  • Egypt
  • Ethiopia
  • Liberia

In Australia, countries that prefer the 12-hour clock includes:

  • Australia
  • New Zealand

How to Calculate Military Time?

Finding it difficult to understand the four digits displayed by your digital clock? Let us help you break it down. 01:30 or 0130 is an ideal military time or 24-hour time.

The first two digits represent how many hours have passed since midnight. 01, an hour since midnight, 02 means it has been two hours since midnight. The last two digits show the minutes.

How to Read and Write Military Time?

Military time is quite easy to read. You pronounce the number-word for the first two digits, followed by the word "hundred". For instance, you would pronounce 1600 as sixteen hundred and 2100 as twenty-one hundred.

For times earlier than a thousand, you pronounce the zero first, the number, and then the hundred. An example is 0200; you pronounce this as Zero two hundred.

What Is a Mike in Military Time?

Sitting out with military friends and they toss around the word "mike" about time, and you feel out of your depth? Let us help. A mike in military terms translates to a minute. So, when the friend says: "We will arrive in one zero mikes", he means "We will arrive in 10 minutes".

How to Convert Military Time?

If you are not conversant with military time, Nineteen hundred hours sounds like numbers generated from rocket science. Here is a military time table that shows 24-hour time and its 12-hour equivalent:

24-hour clock 12-hour clock
000012:00 a.m. (Midnight)
01001 a.m.
02002 a.m.
03003 a.m.
04004 a.m.
05005 a.m.
06006 a.m.
07007 a.m.
08008 a.m.
09009 a.m.
100010 a.m.
110011 a.m.
120012:00 p.m. (Noon)
13001 p.m.
14002 p.m.
15003 p.m.
16004 p.m.
17005 p.m.
18006 p.m.
19007 p.m.
20008 p.m.
21009 p.m.
220010 p.m.
230011 p.m.

An online military time converter can come in handy when there is an urgent need to convert from military time to conventional time.

What Is an Easy Way to Tell Military Time?

Like we said earlier, reading and understanding military time is not rocket science. Let us teach you a few tricks that would make converting between military and 12-hour time a walk in the park.

A friend calls in saying he is coming around at sixteen hundred hours, but you use a 12-hour time, which stops at 12 and starts afresh. What do you do? Simply subtract twelve (since you use a 12-hour time) from sixteen, and voila! You get four (4). From the chart above, you would see that 1600 translates to 4 p.m.

Given an appointment using 12-hour time, but you use a 24-hour time, add 12 to the time. For instance, your appointment is 2 p.m., you add 12 to 2, and you get 14. From our initial chart, you would see 2 p.m. translates to 1400 hours.

How to Change iPhone Clock to Military Time?

To change the iPhone clock from 12 hours to military time, follow these steps:

Open Settings app > Tap General > Tap Date and Time > Tap the switch on the button for a 24-hour time.

How to Change Android Clock to Military Time?

To change your android clock from 12 hours to 24-hours, follow these steps:

Open settings > Open system > Tap Date and time > Tap switch on a button in front of 24-hour

How to Change Fitbit to Military Time?

Follow these steps to change your fitbit.com time from 12-hours to 24-hours:

  • Open fitbit.com
  • Click on the gear icon
  • Click on settings
  • Open personal info
  • Click on advanced settings
  • Clock display time
  • Choose 24-hours clock
  • Submit

How to Set Military Time on Windows 10?

Here is how to change Windows 10 to 24-hour format:

  • Click on the time displayed at the bottom right
  • Click Adjust date/time
  • Click Date, time, & regional formatting
  • Scroll down and click Change data formats
  • Click the Short time dropdown and select 9:40
  • Click the Long time dropdown and select 9:40:07