What is Army Time?

Army time is a method of telling time that is based on the 24-hour clock, instead of the common, standard 12-hour clock. It is also called military time because it is used across al branches of the service; Army, Navy, Airforce, Marines and Coast Guard. Army time has no Am or PM designations, its major difference betwen civilian time. This makes is a much more efficient and effective method of telling time, eliminating mistakes and miscommunication. That is imperative when operations rely on accurate timing and a mistakenly interpreted time can literally be the difference between life and death.

The 24-hour clock is much more accurate and precise in this regard because there is only one time for each hour. Each hour essentially has its own number,  designated by a two-digit number starting at 0. Typicall army time format consists of either 4 or 6 digits, sometimes a : colon separates each group of two numbers.

Typical Army Time format:

HHMMSS (H= hours, M=Minutes and S= seconds)

The first two numbers are the hours, starting at 00 and going to 24. The second group is minutes, starting at 00 and going to 59. The third set is seconds, starting at 00 and going to 59 also.

Example of Army Time

An example of army time is this: 010125. Can you tell what this is in civilian time?

It is 1:00 AM and 25 seconds. You’ll notice that it is much more compact and easier to communicate in either written or digital communications, and easier to encode and decode. There’s also no doubt as the what time this is. It can only be 1 in the morning, not mistaken as 1 in the afternoon.

Here’s another: 123000. This is 12:30 PM civilian time. 153325 is 3:33 PM and 25 seconds.

Do you see how it works? Once yo get the hand of it, military time is not difficult to use. You may even find it to be more efficient for whatever line of work you are in.

How do You Convert Army Time?

An easy method to decode or convert army time into civilian time is to simply subtract 12 from any number over 12. Another trick is to always remember to count 12:00 AM or any time after midnight (starting the next day) as starting at 000000. This essentially is the start of the day, so it is easy to remember that army time begins with all 0s.

Take a look at current military or army time here. See our military and army time charts for more insights and conversions.

Click to download printable army time chart image

Printable Military Time Chart Word Doc

Printable Military Time Chart PDF