Military time is based on a 24-hour clock, which is why the numbers on the clock go from 00 to 23. The United States, however, uses the 12-hour clock, which is why the numbers do not go past 12, and the “a.m.” and “p.m.” must be used. The military observes Daylight Savings Time when it is recognized by the state or country where the time zone is being used. Below are common questions around calculating military time. For example, a military message or communication might state, “The ship will cross into the area of operations (AOO) at 1300Z.” That means the ship would arrive in the AOO when it is one p.m. Where this gets confusing is when you have to translate to the current time in your location. The East Coast of the United States is five hours later than Greenwich Mean Time. So, 1300Z at GMT is the same as 0800 on the East Coast. “The Commander wants to see you at fifteen hundred (1500) hrs,” means you need to be in the Commander’s office at three p.m., local time. When using local time, the Military observes Daylight Savings Time, if recognized by the state or country that the base is located in. And p.m., which are two 12-hour blocks of the day denoting morning and afternoon or evening. When you first hear someone in the military give you the time, you may have to pause a few seconds and do the quick math in order to determine the time of day. UTC, the central and most widely used time zone, is assigned the letter Z and is pronounced Zulu time. Lewis & Clark Young Marines uses military time quite often. This can be confusing for parents with no military experience. We have compiled some information that may help you.
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