Military time was first adopted by the US Navy in 1920, but the US Army did not follow suit until World War II. So, why is military time used? It is used so that there is no confusion between 1:00 am and 1:00 pm. Instead, you would use 0100 and 1300, which are distinctly different from each other. This makes it easy for any military member to know when to be places and when events will take place. Of course, it’s important to note that for the military, being on time is 15 minutes early and late is being on time.
Military Time Chart
|12-Hour Clock||24-Hour Clock|
Memorizing the Military Time Chart
For most people, it can be difficult to memorize and use the military time chart. One of the best ways to learn is just by making a clock and practicing telling time. After a few repetitions, it will become easy, and hopefully, even second nature. Many veterans today only use a watch with military time. I know I do. I guess it is part of the military lifestyle.
The military will continue to use the 24-hour clock for many years to come mainly because it eliminates confusion. This also makes it easier when traveling to other countries on a deployment. Military time will always be used for assigning tasks and planning missions. Military time is part of the first line of security and will always be part of the military’s heritage and tradition. The main thing to know about military time is that it never changes. 1300 is always 1 pm and so on. This makes it easier for everyone, especially new soldiers, to understand when they need to be somewhere. The new boot camp recruit will learn military time before even entering boot camp. Their recruiter should teach them this, because when they arrive, they’re not going to be told 5 am, they’re going to be told 0500. Chow starts at 0600, not 6 am, and ends at 0800, not 8 am.
Once you learn military time, you will rarely go back to using normal civilian time; You will always find yourself translating civilian time back to military time. There will always be a connection between military members, veterans, and military time. Everyone will continue to use it for a lifetime. A veteran will always refer to time as military time since this is part of their tradition and heritage. They will talk to others using military time. As the old saying goes, “you can take me out of the military but you cannot take the military out of me.” It is what we learned on our very own and what we taught others and the standard we followed for many years in the military.
Even Civilians Use It
There are many civilian organizations that use military time, such as law enforcement, EMT, fire and rescue, factories, and more. If you have a chance and want to learn, do so. It is very easy to translate and utilize, and once you have used it, you will find it much easier to use. You may even find yourself passing it on to others to avoid time confusions. It will normally take most people less than 8 hours of practice to know it, learn it, understand it, and utilize it well. Take time even as a civilian to learn military time because you really never know when you will actually have to use it. The more you learn about the military, the more you will become closer to it and understand it. If you ask any veteran, they will tell you they still use military time and always will.