How To Read Military Time

military time clockReading military time is easy once you’ve understand how this system of the 24-hour clock works. Time starts at 0000 or 2400 (both are accepted) and progresses until midnight has been reached and the next day starts again.

It is a clear method of telling time which leaves no space for misunderstanding and with military time there’s no need for using “AM” or “PM”. This is one of the reasons why the military, emergency services, governments and astronomers use it.

How do you read military time?

While the 24-hour clock and military time look alike, they are not exactly the same. When you read 05:00 AM standard time, you’ll have to read military time as 0500, pronounced as “oh (zero) five hundred”, or 0500 hours, pronounced as “oh (zero) five hundred hours”. The zero’s in front of the hours are both required to be written and to be pronounced.

Example on how to read military time using hours
Military Time Standard Time
0100 1 AM or 01:00
0600 6 AM or 06:00
1400 2 PM or 14:00
2200 10 PM or 22:00

You can also watch this video to learn how to read military time.

How to read minutes in military time?

When reading minutes in the military time convention, you may read 0548 for example, pronounced as “oh five hundred forty eight” or “oh five hundred forty eight hours”. You may have noticed that a seperator has bot been used between hours and minutes while using the military time notation.

Minutes in military time are not equally used as minutes in standard time. For example, 12 minutes in military time notation = 7 minutes in standard time notation.

Example on how to read military time using hours and minutes
Military Time Standard Time
0375 03:45
0712 07:07
1425 14:15

How to read a military time chart?

To read a military time chart you’ll have to know that you need to convert minutes from standard time to military time or visa versa. You can accomplish this by dividing or multiplying the minutes by 60.

For example, 30 minutes standard time = 0.5 minutes military time (30/60=0.5), and 0.10 minutes military time = 6 minutes standard time (0.10×60=3).

You can find our military time conversion chart here.