Midnight In Military Time

There has been some confusion among people about midnight in military time and whether one should call midnight military time 2400 or 0000. In this article we’ll explain what this confusion is about and whether there is a right answer to this question.

Midnight Military Time

Military time is based on the 24-hour clock convention which has been issed by the International Organization for Standardization in 1988 under ISO 8601.

Under ISO 8601 it is stated that midnight is a special case and that both 0000 as well as 2400 are accepted when one refers to midnight. However 0000 is more popular in usage as it points to the beginning of a new day.

The confusion about whether 0000 or 2400 is the right notation for midnight in military time can be summarized with the following arguments defending both 0000 and 2400 as the right midnight military time notation:

  1. The day starts at 0000 and ends at 2359; there is no 2400 notation.
  2. Personnel from both military and emergency services use the 0000 notation as well as the 2400 notation to refer to midnight military time.
  3. In military reference material midnight is expressed as 2400.
  4. Spacearchive states both notations are correct but digital watches and computers use the 0000 notation.

How do you say midnight in military time?

Considering the above arguments there doesn’t seem to be a right answer to this question, or you could say both 0000 and 2400 are correct. However when pronouncing midnight in military time most people seem to agree to say ‘zero hundred’ or just ‘midnight’.

Conclusive we can say that when writing midnight in military time both 0000 and 2400 may be used. But when pronouncing midnight in military time ‘zero hundred’ or just ‘midnight’ is the only correct answer.