Without understanding how it works, you could be late to an important drill or meeting. Nautical time zones are used by the military to ensure a standardization of time for the forces. Standard military orders would be delivered in Zulu time. Zulu time is the same as “Greenwich Mean Time” or GMT. Depending on the ship or units location on the planet, it will determine the amount of offset required. In 1913, President Woodrow Wilson issued an executive order to establish standard time zones in every state of America as well as those in Canada and Mexico simultaneously across all three countries. With this came an international system of time zones known as Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) or Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). It is important to know the history of military time because it is based on the same system as the universal time zones. While most people in the military use a 24-hour clock, civilians usually have to know whether a specific time is AM or PM. The 24-hour clock makes knowing the exact time efficient. If someone told you to meet at “five-o-clock” you might ask if that is in the morning or evening. With military time, they would have told you “Zero Five Hundred Hours” or “Seventeen Hundred Hours” which would clear up the confusion.
- Military Time: The 24 Hour Clock
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