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In daily life, most of us use the typical 12 hour clock to tell time.  In using this method, that means that we are also required to say and use AM or PM.  This causes multiple problems such as typos in emails, mis-understandings in conversations, and the dreaded alarm clock.  How many of us have used our phones and accidentally set it to go off at 7:00 PM instead of AM?  Never fear, there is a solution to the AM-PM fiasco, which is to use the 24 hour clock that is used in the military.  Never heard of the 24 hour clock before?  No problem, it's fairly simple to understand via our military time chart.

The first part of the 12 hours is easy, because you already know it!  It starts at 0000 and makes it way up to 24000.  The clock starts at midnight, which is officially the beginning of the day.  The end of the day is also at midnight, signalling the end of the previous day and the start of the next.  The trick is not to think of midnight as being the end of the day because it may mess up the thinking process with the numbers.

When using a 24 hour clock, the numbers are always in thousands.  For instance, midnight is 0000, signalling it is the beginning of the day.  You would read it as “it's zero hundred hours.”  Where we would say, “it's one o-clock,” the military would say that it is “ thirteen hundred hours” (13000).  This may seem extremely confusing right now, but will get clearer as we go through the entire process step by step.  At the end, you'll be able to see how much simpler and clearer 24 hour time telling is.

Now that we've learned a few things about how to read it, let's learn now to tell it.  It is best expressed through a chart:

military time conversion chart (24 hour clock chart)