5 3: Military Time Medicine LibreTexts

Military time is not only used by the military, but is also used by law enforcement and hospitals. Military time is used to record time more accurately since it is divided into 24 hours. If you want to know how to tell military time, just follow these easy steps. Anything between 1201 and 2359 is basically “p.m.” time. The “p.m.” hours usually give people more trouble, but always remember that 1300 (said “thirteen-hundred”) converts into 1 p.m. Therefore, 1400 converts into 2 p.m., 1500 converts into 3 p.m., and so on and so on. Manually converting military time isn’t difficult but requires basic math. For most daily things, military personnel uses local time as a reference. In order words, “report to duty at zero seven hundred (0700),” would mean you have to be at work at seven a.m., local time. Of course, what they’re really doing is using the 24-hour clock, the world’s most widely used time format. In military time, this is done by using the word “hundred,” followed by “hours.” You never say “thousand,” even for times like 1000 (ten o’clock). The beautiful thing about military time is that it’s both concise and precise. With just four numbers and one letter, you can pinpoint an exact moment in time and even specify the time zone. In the United States, NASA uses military time down to thousandths of a second. While the U.S. military and militaries around the world use military time, so do other large operators whose business takes them through different time zones.

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